Trump Says a COVID-19 Vaccine Could Come in the Month of October

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At his Labor Day White House press briefing, President Trump said that a coronavirus vaccine could come “very soon” and even suggested the vaccine could be ready sometime in October.

It’s not the first time Trump has promised a vaccine will come much sooner than other medical specialists, including the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci, believe it could. During his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, Trump said, “We are delivering lifesaving therapies and will produce a vaccine before the end of the year — or maybe even sooner,” Trump said, later adding, “We will have a safe and effective vaccine this year, and we will crush the virus.”

In that same speech, Trump slammed 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, for what he called “reckless anti-vaccine rhetoric.”

Both Biden and Harris – as well as many scientists – have voiced concerns about whether the vaccine has gone through proper development channels. “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,” Harris said during an interview with reporter Dana Bash.

Trump Called on Biden & Harris to Apologize for What He Called ‘Anti-Vaccine’ Remarks

President Donald Trump holds a White House press briefing (LIVE) | USA TODAYPresident Donald Trump holds a White House press briefing RELATED: President Donald J. Trump delivers a speech accepting the nomination of the Republican Party for a second term in the White House in the 2020 election. Trump gave the address at the White House to close out the Republican National Convention. » Subscribe to…2020-09-07T18:19:57Z

Trump made several statements, stating that the vaccine will be “very safe” and “very effective.”

Trump is likely referencing one of the three major COVID-19 vaccines (two from Moderna and the National Institutes of Health and another from Pfizer and BioNTech, according to CNN) being tested in large-scale trials. However, as Stat News reported, no drug company has completed clinical trials and received authorization from the Food and Drug Administration to proceed in producing vaccines.

Biden has said in the past that Trump is “playing with politics” and has “said so many things that aren’t true,” that “if we do have a really good vaccine people are going to be reluctant to take it,” according to the New York Times.

Harris has also expressed the same concern that Trump’s push for a vaccine before November 3 is politically motivated. “(T)hey’ll be muzzled, they’ll be suppressed, they will be sidelined,”  Harris said of medical officials who express concerns about the vaccine, CNN reported. “Because (Trump’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,”

However, Biden has also said, “If I could get a vaccine tomorrow I’d do it. If it cost me the election, I’d do it. We need a vaccine and we need it now,” according to Fox News.

Trump did not address any of Biden’s or Harris’ specific comments, but he did call them as a whole, “very dangerous” and “political lies.” Here is the remainder of Trump’s comments on the potential vaccine:

We’re an absolute leader in every way. Under my leadership, we will produce a vaccine in record time. Biden and his very liberal running mate – the most liberal person in Congress, by the way, (and) is not a competent person in my opinion – would destroy this country and would destroy this economy. (They) should immediately apologize for the reckless, anti-vaccine rhetoric that they are talking right now, talking about endangering lives and (it) undermines science. And what is happening is, all of a sudden you will have this incredible vaccine …

Because of that fake rhetoric, it is political rhetoric, all it is, is just for politics because now they see that we have done an incredible job and at a speed that nobody has seen done before. This could have taken two or three years and instead is going to be done in a very short period of time; (we) could even have it during the month of October.

So contrary to all of the lies (about) the vaccine – they are political lies, they will say anything and it is so dangerous for our country what they say – but the vaccine will be very safe and very effective. And (it) will be delivered very soon, we could have a very big surprise coming up. I am sure you will be very happy. The people would be happy, the people of the world will be happy.

What Is the Likelihood That a Vaccine Will Be Ready in October?

Fauci has been very cautious about making predictions on if/when a vaccine for coronavirus could be ready. He has even still continued to express skepticism to Healthline about Russia’s announcement of a working vaccine. “We have to be careful when you hear from Russia or China or anyplace else that they have a vaccine that they know works. They may have a product that they’re willing to take the risk to give it to people without necessarily showing yet that it’s effective or that it’s safe,” he said.

That’s not very different from what Fauci has told CNN.

“If you are making a decision about the vaccine, you’d better be sure you have very good evidence that it is both safe and effective,” Fauci said, according to CNN. “I’m not concerned about political pressure.” However, Fauci also said there is a scenario where the vaccine could be ready in October if the body responsible for vetting the vaccine’s readiness — the Data and Safety Monitoring Board — gives the green light: “(They could say) ‘The data is so good right now that you can say it’s safe and effective,'” Fauci said.

Infection Prevention Epidemiologist Saskia Popescu told the New York Times, “This timeline of the initial deployment at the end of October is deeply worrisome for the politicization of public health and the potential safety ramifications,” she said.

Texas-based Emergency Medicine Physician Dr. Cendric Dark also described the timeline as potentially over-ambitious. “The timeline that’s reported seems a bit ambitious to me,” Dr. Dark said. “October’s like 30 days away,” he said.

Even if it was approved, it could be a long wait for an efficient distribution of the vaccines to take place. On August 22, the Trump administration announced that it was partnering with Moderna to produce 100 doses of a “COVID-19 investigational vaccine.” Fauci told Healthline that he believes there will be enough doses for everyone by the end of 2021 if a vaccine is approved at the end of this year or early next year.

According to the New York Times coronavirus vaccine tracker, there are nine vaccines in large-scale tests and only three vaccines approved for early “limited” use. None have been approved for full use yet.

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