- Dr Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, and Surgeon General Jerome Adams spoke at a Senate hearing about COVID-19 vaccines and President Donald Trump’s claims that we might be ready before the elections.
- Collins and said it was unlikely that a vaccine would be ready in the next two months.
- The two said the decision on a vaccine will be made on the basis of science.
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Lawmakers on the Senate Health, Education, Work and Pensions Committee grilled Dr.Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health and Surgeon General Jerome Adams over COVID-19 vaccines and President Donald Trumps says we could be ready before the election.
Collins disagreed with Trump’s assessment that a vaccine would be available by November.
“Will it be done on a certain date?” I couldn’t tell you now because I don’t know what’s going to happen in the months to come, ”he said. “I am cautiously optimistic that by the end of 2020 at least one of these vaccines will have emerged and proven to be safe and effective.
“But even that is a guess, and certainly in trying to predict whether it happens in a particular week before or after a particular date in early November goes way beyond anything any scientist right now could tell you. and be sure you know what he’s saying, ”Collins continued.
Adams also said the decision on a vaccine will be made on the basis of science.
“There will be no shortcuts. This vaccine will be safe, it will be effective or it will not be misplaced, ”Adams said.
The New York Times reported that the hearing took place because there were concerns that Trump would apply political pressure to ensure a vaccine is approved to give himself a boost as he seeks re-election, and whether this surge would discourage people from getting vaccinated.
“I’m not sure I know the answer to that question,” Collins replied when Senator Elizabeth Warren asked if Trump’s misinformation about the vaccine could influence people’s reluctance to get the vaccine.
When Warren asked him again, he said, “I just hope Americans choose to take the information they need from scientists and not from politicians. ”
On Tuesday, Dr Anthony Fauci, America’s leading infectious disease expert, also said a coronavirus vaccine is unlikely to be ready until the election.
Trump has repeatedly suggested that the vaccine would be ready this year and recently suggested it could be ready before the election.
“We are going to have a vaccine very soon. Maybe even before a special date. You know what date I’m talking about, ”he told reporters on Monday.
CDC director Robert Redfield sent a letter asking governors to be ready to distribute a vaccine by November 1 by speeding up permits and licenses so that vaccine distribution sites can be operational just two days before elections.
“DCC is urgently requesting your assistance in speeding up applications for these distribution facilities and, if necessary, urges you to consider waiving requirements that would prevent these facilities from becoming fully operational by November 1, 2020,” the letter.
Three companies are in advanced clinical trials, two of which should have enough volunteers for their Phase 3 trials by the end of September, according to Fauci.
On Tuesday, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, issued a statement calling on Trump to “assure the American people that politics will play no role in approving and distributing a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine ”.