Washington, Oregon, Nevada join California plan to review COVID-19 vaccine

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Three Western states announced Tuesday that they would join California’s workgroup set to independently review any COVID-19 vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

A press release from California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) office indicated that Washington, Oregon and Nevada would join the working group and identify experts in public health who could assist in the effort to verify the efficacy and safety of a vaccine approved under the Trump administration.

“We believe in science, public health and safety. That is why I am pleased that Washington is joining California and other western states in this effort,” said Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D). “Any COVID vaccine must be guided by the expertise of scientists and medical professionals and that’s just what this workgroup will do. The Western States Pact will continue working together to ensure the best health outcomes for everyone in our states.”

“The vaccines currently in development, once approved, are what Americans have been waiting for to protect their families, their children, and their loved ones in long-term care facilities,” added Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D). “The independent review conducted by this panel of doctors, scientists, and health experts will ensure that a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is available to everyone, especially communities that have been disproportionately impacted by this disease.”

The growing list of Democratic-led states joining California’s effort comes as some Democrats have pointed to statements from President Trump and other top Trump administration officials as reason why the public mght not trust the federal government’s approval process for a COVID-19 vaccine. The president has frequently contradicted his own top health experts amid the pandemic, and promoted unconventional and unverified treatments for the disease on his social media and in other settings.

Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.), the Democratic vice presidential nominee, has said that Trump’s statements on a forthcoming vaccine cannot be trusted, and sparred with Vice President Pence over the issue during October’s vice presidential debate.

“If Dr. [Anthony] Fauci, if the doctors tell us that we should take it, I’ll be the first in line to take it,” Harris told moderator Susan Page during the debate. “If Donald Trump tells us to take it, I’m not taking it.”

“Stop playing politics with people’s lives,” Pence responded. “Your continuous undermining of confidence in a vaccine is unacceptable.”

Tags Donald Trump Gavin Newsom Jay Inslee Kate Brown Mike Pence

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