Biden says to trust scientists on COVID-19 vaccine, not Trump
A COVID-19 vaccine must be developed and distributed transparently by scientists and not politicians, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said Wednesday.
Biden accused President Trump of politicizing the vaccine approval process and said only experts should be in charge of the distribution of a vaccine.
“I trust vaccines, I trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald Trump,” Biden said. “At this moment, the American people can’t either.”
Biden spoke at a press conference in Delaware after receiving a briefing from medical and public health experts about COVID-19 vaccines.
He said the White House needs to give the American people “honest answers” about the vaccine development process, including who determines safety and effectiveness and how the government will ensure distribution of the vaccine will be fair.
Biden said he is “more hopeful than ever” in the power of science to develop a vaccine but that “we cannot allow politics to interfere with a vaccine in any way.”
President Trump has repeatedly promised a vaccine will be ready in a matter of weeks, even before the November election.
Biden said those kinds of statements are why people shouldn’t trust Trump, as they contradict what scientists say.
“Scientific breakthroughs don’t care about calendars any more than the virus does. They certainly don’t adhere to election cycles,” Biden said.
Biden’s comments come the same day the Trump administration outlined its initial plan for distributing a vaccine across the country as soon as one is authorized.
The goal is to distribute a vaccine at no upfront cost to providers and to ensure the American public can get a shot without paying anything out of pocket.
Biden’s comments also come as public distrust in the vaccine approval process is growing.
A recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 62 percent of Americans said they worry the Food and Drug Administration would rush a vaccine without making sure it is safe and effective.
If Americans don’t trust the people who tell them a vaccine is safe, they will be less likely to accept it, prolonging a pandemic that might otherwise be brought under control.
Trump administration health officials have been working hard to show the public the vaccine process is insulated from political interference, and top medical experts such as Anthony Fauci have spoken up about the issue.
Some Republicans have accused Biden of fear mongering and of being anti-vaccine, saying his questioning of the vaccine process is only adding to the public’s unease.
Biden said he will trust what scientists have to say, whereas Trump has no respect for science or scientists.
“This is the same guy who said, inject bleach,” Biden said. “This is the guy who said, if you want to get rid of hurricanes … drop a nuclear bomb on them.”