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Harris on getting any COVID-19 vaccine before election: ‘I would not trust Donald Trump’

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris said she would not take President Trump’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.

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 Fauci, 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 Schumer (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.

Tags Anthony Fauci Charles Schumer Coronavirus coronavirus vaccine COVID-19 Donald Trump Sunday shows
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