House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., confirmed she would take the coronavirus vaccine if it’s approved, after some Democrats have expressed alarm that President Trump is rushing its approval.
“I’m not a big needle taker. I mean, I had a hard time getting my ears pierced. I’m not a big needle fan,” she told reporters at a press conference.
“I mean, they have to talk me into the flu shot under great duress each year — but if it serves as a model to other people, yes I would take the vaccine if it is approved by the regular order of things.”
The speaker alleged that the Trump administration wants to bypass Phase Three trials that prove the safety of the vaccine, but said she trusts U.S. health officials and drug companies to ensure safety and efficacy.
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“I don’t like the pressure that the White House is bringing on all of this and the statements that ‘Maybe we don’t need clinical trials as we normally do, we can just do it two instead of three’ and all that,” she said.
Pelosi added: “Let me salute the scientists at the FDA, and even some of the people at the CDC … who have been there for a long time about the highest caliber of science now backing the FDA working on this initiative.”
“Let science determine this, not politics, and then people will have confidence in the product,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Democratic presidential ticket has been criticized for sowing fear related to the coronavirus vaccine.
“We can’t allow politics to interfere with the vaccine in any way,” Biden said last month. “Americans have had to endure President Trump’s incompetence and dishonesty when it comes to testing and personal protective equipment. We can’t afford to repeat those fiascos when it comes to a vaccine, when it occurs. The stakes are too high.”
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“I trust vaccines. I trust scientists. I don’t trust Trump,” he said.
While Biden said he trusts vaccines, he added that “this administration is going to have to answer to assure the American people that politics will not play a role whatsoever in the vaccine process.”
Those remarks came after his running mate, Kamala Harris, caused controversy by predicting that public health experts will “be muzzled, they’ll be suppressed, they will be sidelined, 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.”
When asked whether she would get a hypothetical pre-election vaccine, she said: “Well, I think that’s going to be an issue for all of us. I will say that I would not trust Donald Trump and it would have to a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and reliability of whatever he is talking about, I will not take his word for it.”
“I would want to see what the scientists said,” Biden said separately in response to a question about whether he would take a vaccine approved by the Trump administration. “I want full transparency on the vaccine. One of the problems is the way he’s playing with politics. He says so many things that aren’t true and I’m worried if we do have a really good vaccine people are going to be reluctant to take it.”
In a press conference earlier this month Trump promised enough coronavirus vaccine doses for “every American” by April. He predicted availability to begin as soon as early October, directly contradicting a much longer timeline offered earlier in the day by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Robert Redfield.
Redfield told a panel of Senate lawmakers not to expect a coronavirus vaccine to become widely available to most of the U.S. population until the summer of 2021.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he would bet on a coronavirus vaccine by November or December.
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‘‘I would still put my money on November/December,” he said, during a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute panel on global pandemics.
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