Dr Anthony Fauci a leading expert on infectious diseases said Thursday night that he would be willing to vouch for the safety and efficacy of a vaccine when one becomes available, amid continued concern that politicization of the process by the Trump administration will lead to a rushed approval process.
When asked during an MSNBC interview on Thursday night if he would “take the heat” if corners had been cut or something was “wrong with the process,” Fauci told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, “The answer, Chris, is yes.”
“If in fact, it looks like that vaccine is safe and effective, I can tell the American public that I will take the vaccine when it’s available to me, and I will recommend to my family that they take it,” Fauci who has been the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for more than 30 years, said.
The health expert also described a number of protections put in place to safeguard against the rushing of a vaccine that is unsafe.
The news comes after multiple lawmakers have repeatedly said they do not have faith in the President’s judgment about a vaccine and would only trust the integrity of a vaccine as determined by Fauci — who has been a leading voice on public health safety measures amid the coronavirus pandemic even as Trump has sought to undermine his guidance on masks and vaccine distribution.
During a CNN town hall on Thursday night, Democratic presidential nominee cast doubt on President Donald Trump’s leadership amid the COVID-19 crisis and particularly with regard to a vaccine.
“I don’t trust the President on vaccines. I trust Dr. Fauci,” Biden told a drive-in crowd in Scranton, Pennsylvania. “If Fauci says a vaccine is safe, I would take the vaccine. We should listen to the scientists, not the President.”
The President has repeatedly promised the delivery of a safe vaccine within days of the Nov. 3 election.
“Obviously, there is a lot of talk about political pressure,” Fauci told MSNBC on Thursday, adding: “the FDA has made it very clear — explicitly — that they will not be influenced by political considerations.”
Fauci added that the National Institutes of Health and the scientific community more broadly are “very adamant” about not succumbing to political pressure.