NIH Honcho: ‘Impossible’ To Predict COVID Vaccine By November

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 2: Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), testifies during a US Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the plan to research, manufacture and distribute ... WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 2: Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), testifies during a US Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the plan to research, manufacture and distribute a coronavirus vaccine, known as Operation Warp Speed, July 2, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo by Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images) MORE LESS
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

It’s impossible to know if there will be a safe and effective vaccine by November, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins told the Senate on Wednesday morning.

“Will it be done by a certain date? I could not possibly tell you right now,” Dr. Collins told Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) during a hearing of the Senate health committee. “Certainly, to try to predict whether it happens on a particular week before or after a particular date in early November is well beyond anything that any scientist right now could tell you and know what they’re saying.”

Collins added that “science and science alone will lead the way. Otherwise, I’ll have no part of it.”

As head of NIH, Collins does not play a direct role in approving an eventual COVID-19 vaccine.

Rather, that task falls to the Food and Drug Administration, which is overseeing three COVID-19 vaccines that are currently in mass, phase III trials.

President Trump has been pressuring the FDA to approve a vaccine before the November election in a bid to juice his re-election chances. Some of the President’s advisors have reportedly referred to a pre-election vaccine as a “holy grail” for President Trump’s re-election prospects.

Several states have told TPM that they would refuse to distribute a vaccine that did not complete phase III trials or which did not pass muster under review from an independent board of scientists.

Collins added, “I don’t know what is going to happen.”

“I do have cautious optimism that by the end of 2020, one of these vaccines will have emerged and turned out to be safe and effective,” he added.

Latest Muckraker

Notable Replies

  1. Let’s just say that a viable vaccine by Nov is more sigmas out than you have fingers.

  2. NIH Director Frances Collins “science and science alone will lead the way. Otherwise, I’ll have no part of it.”

    :clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap:

  3. There’s going to be a vaccine by the “Special Day”. Just not a safe or effective one.

  4. “cautious optimism,” the mantra of all things Trump. :upside_down_face:

  5. Would be great if an actual scientist with integrity like Collins was in charge of the CDC, instead of the weenie factotum there now. Even Larry Fishburne did a better job, and he was an actor.

Continue the discussion at forums.talkingpointsmemo.com

46 more replies

Participants

Avatar for discobot Avatar for meri Avatar for voreason Avatar for irasdad Avatar for yskov Avatar for left_in_washington_state Avatar for generalsternwood Avatar for serendipitoussomnambulist Avatar for pshah Avatar for kimaanderson Avatar for bankerpup Avatar for vangedo Avatar for maximus Avatar for erik_t Avatar for bwillator Avatar for seamus42 Avatar for greenman66 Avatar for txlawyer Avatar for zenicetus Avatar for Volvo_Birkenstock Avatar for LeeHarveyGriswold Avatar for Punchy Avatar for ClutchCargo Avatar for geographyjones

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: