Trump’s vaccine and election claims are false

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WASHINGTON (AP) – Refusing to concede a presidential election he lost, President Donald Trump has wrongly sought to take all the credit for drugmaker Pfizer Inc.’s announcement that its COVID-19 vaccine may be effective at 90% wrongly claimed that news about vaccines was carried over after polling day to undermine it and repeated baseless allegations of electoral fraud.

Here is an overview:

VACCINE

TRUMP: “” President Trump told us for a while that we would have a vaccine by the end of the year and people were laughing at him, and here we are with Pfizer getting FDA approval of here the end of this month. He was right.’ @MariaBartiromo. “- tweet Tuesday.

THE FACTS: Trump’s suggestion – quoting Fox Business presenter Maria Bartiromo – that he was the only one saying a COVID-19 vaccine was possible at the end of the year is incorrect. In fact, top health experts have said they consider it possible, although far from certain, and are more skeptical of Trump’s claim that a coronavirus vaccine will be available before the 3 election. November. The vaccine is not expected to be widely available to the general public until 2021.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, had previously said he was “cautiously optimistic” that a vaccine will be ready by the end of 2020 or early 2021. On Monday, he qualified Pfizer’s news of “extraordinary” but reiterated that this was the case. doesn’t mean the United States had its immediate cure for the coronavirus.

The first step for Pfizer would be to seek “emergency use authorization” from the Food and Drug Administration, possibly later this month, which would allow limited distribution before seeking full FDA approval for the. wider use. Neither step is guaranteed.

“There are still questions about, you know, the durability of the effect in terms of its effectiveness in older people versus younger people,” Fauci told CNN. “We know the light is at the end of the tunnel, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to give up on important public health measures that we must continually take every day.”

Pfizer’s interim analysis, conducted by an independent data monitoring board, looked at 94 infections recorded to date in a study that enrolled nearly 44,000 people in the United States and five other countries.

Some participants received the vaccine, while others received dummy injections. Pfizer says only the data and security oversight board knows about the outages, not Pfizer researchers or executives. For the vaccine to be 90% effective, almost all infections must have occurred in recipients of the placebo. The study is continuing and Pfizer has warned that the rate of protection could change as more cases of COVID-19 are added to the calculations.

During the presidential campaign, Trump has often suggested that a vaccine could arrive before the November 3 election.

“What I said is by the end of the year, but I think it might even be earlier than that,” Trump said in September of a vaccine. “It could be during the month of October, in fact could be before November.”

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TRUMP: “As I said a long time ago, @Pfizer and the rest would not announce a vaccine until after the election, because they hadn’t had the courage to do it before. Likewise, the @US_FDA should have announced it earlier, not for political purposes, but to save lives! “- tweet Monday.

TRUMP: “The @US_FDA and the Democrats didn’t want me to get a WIN vaccine, before the election, so it came out five days later – like I’ve always said!” – tweet Monday.

THE FACTS: His claim that Pfizer and the FDA withheld vaccine information until the election is over is false. The company itself learned of the interim results on Sunday, and the FDA was not involved in Pfizer’s decision to announce its first results.

Each vaccine study such as the one performed on Pfizer is overseen by an independent “Data and Safety Board”, or DSMB. These councils include scientists and statisticians who have no connection with the vaccine manufacturers.

Before a study is completed, only the DSMB has the power to unlock the code of who received a real vaccine and who received a placebo, and recommend whether the injections are working well enough to stop testing prematurely.

These tips take a preview at predetermined times agreed upon by the manufacturer and the FDA. He provided the first interim analysis for Pfizer on Sunday.

John Burkhardt, senior vice president of drug safety research and development at Pfizer, said on Monday that the timing of the company’s vaccine announcement was in no way related to the presidential election and had been communicated as soon as the efficacy data were ready. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CNN the timing had nothing to do with politics.

Pfizer and the maker of America’s other leading vaccine candidate, Moderna Inc., have been warning for weeks that the earliest possible time to get regulatory approval for wider use of their vaccines would be in late November.

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TRUMP: “’It’s only because of President Trump that we’re going to have a vaccine by the end of the year.’ Ronny Jackson, elected congressman from Texas. “- tweet Tuesday.

VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: “HUGE NEWS: Thanks to the public-private partnership forged by President @realDonaldTrump, @pfizer has announced that its coronavirus vaccine trial is EFFECTIVE, preventing infection in 90% of its volunteers.” – tweet Monday.

THE FACTS: Trump (citing his former White House doctor) and Pence are mistakenly seeking all the credit for forging the partnership that made the potential breakthrough possible. In particular, Pfizer did not accept government money to develop, test or expand manufacturing capacity as part of Trump’s Operation Warp Speed ​​initiative to quickly find a vaccine and treatments for the sweeping disease. the country.

In fact, Pfizer partnered with the original vaccine developer, Germany BioNTech, in March and the following month announced the first human study in Germany. The White House announced Operation Warp Speed ​​in May.

Pfizer chose not to join Operation Warp Speed ​​initially, but follows the same general requirements for vaccine development as competitors who have received government research funding. The company says it risked $ 2 billion of its own money for vaccine development and won’t get anything from Washington unless the effort succeeds.

“The costs of developing and manufacturing Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine have been fully self-funded,” Pfizer spokeswoman Jerica Pitts said on Monday. “We have decided to self-finance our efforts in order to be able to act as quickly as possible.”

However, Pfizer signed a deal with the U.S. government in July worth $ 1.95 billion – if the vaccine fails and is cleared by the FDA – to deliver 100 million doses. This gives Pfizer a US market, a significant incentive.

The supply side of Operation Warp Speed ​​also allows Pfizer logistical assistance, although the company is shipping its own vaccine directly, while the government will control the shipment of other COVID-19 vaccines.

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ELECTION

TRUMP: “Georgia will be a great presidential victory, as it was election night!” – tweet Monday.

THE FACTS: He mistakenly suggests that any ballot counted after election day in Georgia and other states is illegitimate and illegal. In fact, it is explicitly allowed in about 20 states, and the Supreme Court did not oppose it.

Trump refused to concede and said he would maintain his legal challenges, despite several lawsuits dismissed by the courts.

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TRUMP: “Pennsylvania has prevented us from monitoring much of the ballot count. Unthinkable and illegal in this country. “- tweet Monday.

THE FACTS: His claim is false.

Trump totally twists a court case in the state and what happened at the polls. No one tried to ban poll observers representing either side of the election. Democrats did not try to prevent Republican officials from being able to observe the process.

The main issue in this case was how close observers representing parties could relate to election workers who process postal ballots in Philadelphia. Trump’s representatives sued to allow observers to come close to what the guidelines had allowed. A court ruled in favor of this request.

The count in Philadelphia was being broadcast live, and Trump’s lawyers admitted in court that their campaign had observers in the room – a “non-zero” number, as they put it.

It was well known that a large number of mailed ballots as well as in-person ballots had to be counted after election day and that many would come from Democratic-leaning regions. This is why the news agencies did not call Pennsylvania for Trump.

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TRUMP: “WATCH OUT FOR MASSIVE BULLETIN ACCOUNT ABUSE AND, LIKE THE EARLY VACCINE, REMEMBER THAT I AM TELLING YOU!” “- tweet Tuesday.

TRUMP: “WE WILL WIN! “- tweet Tuesday.

THE FACTS: He makes unsubstantiated claims. There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 elections. In fact, election officials from both political parties have publicly stated that the election went well and international observers have confirmed that there is had no serious irregularities.

The problems reported by the Trump campaign and his allies are typical of every election: problems with signatures, secret envelopes and postmarks on ballots in the mail, as well as the possibility of a small number of ballots. incorrect or lost votes. With Biden leading Trump to wide margins in major battlefield states, none of these issues would impact the election outcome.

Trump’s campaign also launched legal challenges complaining that their poll observers were unable to review the voting process. Many of these challenges were dismissed by judges, some within hours of being filed, and none of the complaints show any evidence that the outcome of the election was affected.

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Johnson reported from Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. Associated Press writers Colleen Long and Calvin Woodward contributed to this report.

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EDITOR’S NOTE – A look at the veracity of the claims of political figures.

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Find the AP Fact Checks at http://apnews.com/APFactCheck

Follow @APFactCheck on Twitter: https://twitter.com/APFactCheck



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