Questions are swirling about the safety and efficacy of a COVID-19 vaccine if it is produced while President Donald Trump is in office, with many suggesting that the development process is being rushed for political purposes.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden says that it is crucial that Americans raise questions about the vaccine development process and that a panel of scientists verify that the vaccine is safe and effective.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Biden was asked if his attacks on Trump’s push to develop and approve a vaccine would hurt Americans’ trust in science.
“No, because they know he doesn’t have any respect for scientists,” Biden responded. “He basically said it. You saw what he said in California about wildfires, and scientists don’t know … and it’s going to go away like a miracle.”
He continued, “It’s necessary so people can trust the vaccine. And that’s why I said that you have to have this board of scientists that are going to say ‘this is why we think this is a good vaccine, why it’s approved.’ And it has to be total transparency.”
Biden reiterated his belief that having an outside board of scientists review the vaccine and investigate the development process is a critical step.
When asked if he was telling Americans not to trust Trump, but to trust him if he’s elected, Biden said, “No, I’m not. I’m saying trust the scientists.”
“It’s one thing for Donald Trump to say the vaccine is safe,” Biden continued. “Then give it the board of scientists. Have total transparency, so independent operators and scientists and companies go out and take a look at it. And what did you base that decision on? What did you do? Did you pressure the head of the FDA?”
“I’m not saying he would or will, but that’s what has to happen,” he added.
Watch the video below:
Asked if casting doubt on Pres. Trump's on vaccines could lead to some people doubting any potential vaccine if it's released, Joe Biden tells @marykbruce, "No, because they know he doesn't have any respect for scientists. He basically said it." https://t.co/JAGlaSU7gg pic.twitter.com/kWXqDWQwKZ— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) September 16, 2020
When asked if he would take a vaccine if the board of scientists gave it a green-light, Biden said, “Absolutely. Do it. Yes. If those three questions I laid out can be answered, yes, absolutely.”
Trump previously called Biden “stupid” for questioning the safety of a vaccine and said the former vice president should apologize.
And on Wednesday at the White House, Trump accused Biden of “promoting his anti-vaccine theories.”
TRUMP: "I'm calling on Biden to stop promoting his anti-vaccine theories because all they're doing is hurting the importance of what we're doing." pic.twitter.com/OSSsbXGAs1— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 16, 2020
He said, “I’m calling on Biden to stop promoting his anti-vaccine theories because all they’re doing is hurting the importance of what we’re doing.”
Trump also charged that Biden was “recklessly endangering lives” by raising questions about the safe a vaccine approved under his tenure.