Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisCelebrities recording personalized Cameo messages in Biden fundraising effort Sarah Jessica Parker helps launch ‘Moms for Biden’ in Ohio The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden visits Kenosha | Trump’s double-voting suggestion draws fire | Facebook clamps down on election ads MORE said she would not take President TrumpDonald John TrumpDHS to label white supremacists as the ‘most persistent and lethal threat’ to the US: report Buttigieg slams Trump over comments on fallen soldiers: ‘He must think we’re all suckers’ White House tells federal agencies to cancel ‘divisive’ racial sensitivity training: report MORE’s word about the efficacy of a potential coronavirus vaccine released before the November election.
In an interview with CNN set to air in full on Sunday, the California senator said she was not confident that health officials would get the “last word” on the effectiveness of a vaccine.
“If past is prologue that they will not. They’ll be muzzled, they’ll be suppressed, they will be sidelined because he’s looking at an election coming up in less than 60 days, and he’s grasping for whatever he can get to pretend that he’s been a leader on this issue when he’s not,” she said.
“I will say that 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 whatever he’s talking about,” she added.
BASH: “Let’s just say there’s a vaccine that is approved and even distributed before the election. Would you get it?”
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) September 5, 2020
The remarks come amid concerns that the administration is pushing for a vaccine to be produced prior to Election Day to boost the president’s reelection bid. CNN reported Thursday that Trump has pressured officials to accelerate the development of a vaccine to portray the sense that the end of the COVID-19 pandemic is near.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also asked state governors last week to fast-track applications for building permits for vaccine distribution sites that would be up and running in early November before Election Day.
Polling has shown voters remain skeptical of Trump’s word on a coronavirus vaccine, with only 14 percent in a Politico-Morning Consult survey last month saying that that’d be more likely to receive a COVID-19 vaccination if the president recommended it.
By comparison, 46 percent said they’d take one on the advice of their family, while 43 percent said they would on the advice of the CDC or Anthony FauciAnthony FauciCompanies developing COVID-19 vaccines planning to issue joint safety pledge: report Overnight Health Care: White House denies Trump has embraced ‘herd immunity’ strategy on COVID-19 | Penn State doctor: About a third of tested athletes with COVID-19 had heart inflammation | Fauci says Midwestern states should be on alert this Labor Day Scott Atlas is a needed voice of wisdom and reason on the Coronavirus Taskforce MORE, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert.
“Too much of the evidence points to the Trump administration pressuring the [Food and Drug Administration] to approve a vaccine by Election Day to boost the President’s re-election campaign,” Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerCompanies developing COVID-19 vaccines planning to issue joint safety pledge: report Schumer calls for accountability in Daniel Prude death in Rochester Top Democrats press Trump to sanction Russian individuals over 2020 election interference efforts MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a statement this week, referencing a report from The Washington Post addressing the concerns.
“All Americans want a safe and effective vaccine as soon as possible, but if these important life and death decisions appear political, it will only undermine Americans’ confidence in a vaccine and prolong the pandemic,” he added.
Officials have worked to downplay worries, with Fauci this week suggesting he’d trust health officials if they said a vaccine is safe.
“I mean, I will look at the data, and I would assume, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be the case, that a vaccine would not be approved for the American public unless it was indeed both safe and effective. And I keep emphasizing both safe and effective. If that’s the case … I would not hesitate for a moment to take the vaccine myself and recommend it for my family,” he said.
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