Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris said in comments released Saturday that if a coronavirus vaccine is available before November’s election, she would not take President Donald Trump’s word on its safety and efficacy.
Trump faces intense pressure to curb the contagion that has clouded his re-election prospects, sparking worries his administration could rush vaccine research to fit a political timetable.
“I would not trust Donald Trump and it would have to be a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and the reliability of (a vaccine),” Harris told CNN.
“I will not take his word for it.”
A shot against the virus that has killed over 188,000 in the US and hobbled the world’s largest economy has become another flashpoint ahead of the November 3 vote.
This week news broke that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asked states to sweep away red tape that could prevent a network of vaccine distribution centers being “fully operational by Nov 1, 2020.”
The US Food and Drug Administration has also raised the possibility that a vaccine might be given emergency authorization before the end of trials.
Trump dangled the possibility in front of supporters last week at the Republican National Convention saying the US “will produce a vaccine before the end of the year, or maybe even sooner.”
However, Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert, said Thursday that the initial results of vaccine trials could come in “November or December.”
Fauci told CNN that being ready in October, before the election, is “unlikely, not impossible.”
White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany denied any pressure to get the vaccine out before voters head to the polls.
“No one is pressuring the FDA to do anything,” she said Thursday. “The priority here is saving lives.”
© Agence France-Presse
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