No, President Donald Trump isn’t trying to get a COVID-19 vaccine approved “right around” Election Day to rescue his chances of surviving his race against Democratic challenger Joe Biden, who’s been steamrolling him in the polls. Why do you ask?
During a press gaggle on the White House lawn on Thursday, Trump said he was “optimistic” the vaccine would be out around November 3.
“Will that help you in the election?” a reporter asked.
“It wouldn’t hurt. It wouldn’t hurt,” Trump replied.
“But I’m doing it not for the election,” he added. “I want it fast because I want to save a lot of lives.”
Earlier in the morning, the President told radio host Geraldo Rivera that the crucial vaccine would be approved “sooner than the end of the year,” “right around” November 3, though he did not offer evidence for his prediction.
In fact, health experts’ assessments of the vaccine development indicate that Trump’s timeline is unrealistic.
But as the Trump administration prepares to “overwhelm” the airwaves to promote the vaccine in the fall, vaccine experts are becoming concerned that the White House could barrel through the process of approving the vaccine without properly vetting it for political reasons.
Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) vaccine advisory panel, told TPM this week that he fears exactly that.
Watch Trump below:
Trump: It "wouldn't hurt" if a COVID-19 vaccine came out before the elections. pic.twitter.com/HQKAH3Sorh
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) August 6, 2020