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Former Washington Journalist
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Given Donald Trump’s reputation for falsehoods, Democrat Joe Biden’s casting doubt on his rival’s accelerated timeline for the arrival of a vaccine for the novel coronavirus.
Trump, who has been consistently running behind Biden in opinion polling largely due to public displeasure with his response to the pandemic, claimed Monday that Americans “could even have [the vaccine] during the month of October.”
More than 6.3 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported, including nearly 190,000 deaths. Meanwhile, Trump has politicized–and largely eschewed–the use of mask-wearing and social distancing to limit the spread of the virus.
“We want to see what the scientists say. I want full transparency on the vaccine. One of the problems is, the way he’s planning a policy is he says so many things that aren’t true, I’m worried that if we do have a really good vaccine, people will be reluctant to take it,” said Biden, citing Trump’s documented history of more than 20,000 falsehoods and misleading claims. “So he’s undermining public confidence. But pray God we have it. If I could get a vaccine tomorrow, I’d do it. If it would cost me the election, I’d do it. We need the vaccine, we need it now.”
Biden’s not the only one who is casting doubt on Trump’s rosy timetable.
It’s “extremely unlikely, but not impossible” that a COVID-19 vaccine could be authorized for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration before the end of October, Moncef Slaoui, the chief adviser to Operation Warp Speed, told NPR last week.
Dr. Larry Corey, who’s leading a group set up by the National Institutes of Health to work on coronavirus vaccines, also said he doesn’t think there will be a vaccine available by Election Day.
“I would agree with Dr. Slaoui. The chances are very low, very remote,” said Corey, who leads the COVID-19 Prevention Network.
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