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House GOP leader says he trusts Trump over CDC director on vaccine timing

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyConservatives seize on New York Post story to push Section 230 reform Sunday shows preview: Coronavirus cases surge in the Midwest; Trump hits campaign trail after COVID-19 OVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA may violate courts with new rule extending life of unlined coal ash ponds | Trump reverses course, approving assistance for California wildfires | Climate change, national security among topics for final Trump-Biden debate MORE (R-Calif.) said he trusts President TrumpDonald John TrumpNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter DC correspondent on the death of Michael Reinoehl: 'The folks I know in law enforcement are extremely angry about it' Late night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study MORE’s comments on a timeline for the release of a coronavirus vaccine over Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield.

“We're going to have a safe and effective vaccine this year, and listen to the preparation of what we've been able to do with Operation Warp Speed, to be able to deliver it. When that time comes, if I just take the words of the CDC and the president, the president's right,” McCarthy said during a press briefing on Thursday.  

“I think one of those two individuals had more information than the other, and that was the president," he added.

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Trump at a Wednesday evening press briefing said Redfield was incorrect when he said a vaccine for COVID-19 would likely not be available until "the second or third quarter of 2021," remarks the CDC director made in testimony to Congress.

Redfield's estimate tracks with the outlines provided by other health experts, but Trump said a vaccine could be widely available by this fall. Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter Trump narrows Biden's lead in Pennsylvania: poll Florida breaks first-day early voting record with 350K ballots cast MORE on Wednesday said Trump lacked credibility in terms of the timing of a vaccine because Trump appears to want one out speedily to help with his reelection. The Trump campaign has criticized Biden for fearmongering.

McCarthy said that after speaking with other experts including Dr. Moncef Slaoui, the chief scientific adviser to the Trump administration's vaccine development program,  and pharmaceutical companies developing COVID-19 vaccines, he believes Trump’s timeline is more accurate.

He told reporters that Redfield likely “needs to be updated” on the latest information. 

"So what you should do is actually ask the question, to Dr. [Moncef] Slaoui who's in charge of it, who is the adviser to what's happening, who's working every single day with the eight companies that are building the vaccine,” McCarthy said.