Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) Alex Azar is adamant science is going to determine the safety and effectiveness of a coronavirus vaccine, not politics.
Host of “CBS This Morning” Tony Dokoupil questioned Azar about the role politics has in the approval of a coronavirus vaccine and asked him if he could see why some Americans might be concerned about it.
“I think it’s very irresponsible how people are trying to politicize notions of delivering a vaccine to the American people,” Azar said.
He added, “Any vaccine that comes out is going to meet FDA’s gold standards for authorization or licensure. The president’s made that clear. I’ve made that clear. The FDA commissioner has made that clear.”
Watch his comments below:
The CDC is telling states to prepare to begin distributing a potential coronavirus vaccine by November 1st — two days before the election.@HHSGov’s @SecAzar joins us to discuss more & concerns surrounding the politicization of the vaccine approval process. pic.twitter.com/Nrag4vSyrr— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) September 3, 2020
Azar noted the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called on governors last week to expedite applications for vaccine distribution sites to make them operational by Nov. 1.
Dokoupil pressed Azar on the date and asked him if it is a coincidence it is two days before the presidential election and where the date is coming from.
“You’d have to ask Dr. Messonnier because that came out of the career people at CDC working to do the planning here. It has nothing to do with elections. This has to do with delivering safe, effective vaccines to the American people as quickly as possible and saving peoples’ lives,” Azar said.
He continued, “Whether it’s Oct. 15, whether it’s Nov. 1, whether it’s Nov. 15, it’s all about saving lives, but meeting the standards of FDA standards of safety and efficacy. Nobody involved in this process is ever going to compromise on making sure that a product someone puts in their body is safe and effective.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci revealed on Thursday he does not believe Americans should be concerned about politics affecting the timeline of a vaccine because the FDA has been “very explicit” they are going to be making a decision based on data, as IJR previously reported.