(Wilmington and Washington) Donald Trump said Wednesday that the United States would have a COVID-19 vaccine in the population as of October, despite the contrary opinion from health experts and attacks from his opponent Joe Biden, who believes he is “disqualified” to deal with the pandemic.
Posted on Sep 16, 2020 at 4:26 pm Updated at 7:42 pm
Elodie CUZIN and Daxia ROJAS
France Media Agency
“We are ready. Our military and other officials are ready to act. We believe that (the distribution of a vaccine) could start as early as October. No doubt, no later than November or December,” the American president hammered during a press conference in white House and distanced himself from the head of the American health authorities.
When asked by Congress, the director of the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), Robert Redfield estimated earlier today that the majority of Americans might not benefit from a vaccine until the second or third trimester of 2021 ”, even if it does was approved in the coming weeks.
“I think he made a mistake saying that. This is false information, ”responded Donald Trump, who made the imminent arrival of a vaccine a central theme of his campaign for the November 3rd presidential election.
But his democratic opponent is also trying to discredit him because of the pandemic that killed almost 200,000 people in the United States.
“A president’s first responsibility is to protect the American people, and he doesn’t,” Barack Obama’s former vice president said during a speech on Wednesday afternoon in his stronghold of Wilmington, Delaware. His management of the virus “totally disqualifies him,” he said.
On Tuesday night, Donald Trump tried again to calm the population during a television broadcast by assuring that the coronavirus would eventually go away over time.
“Everything will be fine, it will disappear. And that will go away even faster with vaccines, ”said the former businessman on ABC.
“No Trust in Trump”
Still, the US vaccine race is advancing rapidly. Two candidates (Pfizer and Moderna) are close to recruiting 30,000 participants for their clinical trials against placebo.
“I trust vaccines, I trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald Trump. And at the moment the Americans cannot be confident either, ”attacked Joe Biden on Wednesday.
Even if the clinical trials were completed prior to the November 3rd election, which officials and experts believe are unlikely, dose distribution will initially be “very limited” and reserved for certain priority populations, possibly from November or December, Robert Redfield detailed.
A new source of confusion in government communications, the US President also resisted Robert Redfield when wearing a mask. The health expert told Congress that covering your face was more effective than the COVID-19 vaccine.
“He didn’t understand the question,” swept Donald Trump. “The mask is not as important as the vaccine. Maybe the mask will help ”.
The logistical preparations for a vaccine are already under way. An official from Operation Warp Speed, who coordinates the government’s overall vaccination strategy, announced Wednesday that the goal was to distribute the first vaccine doses within 24 hours of a possible emergency clearance by the Medicines Agency (FDA).
It is the integrity of this regulatory process that is now dubious, despite the FDA and laboratories pledges to adhere to customary standards and only approve a vaccine if tests show it, reducing the incidence of COVID-19 by at least 50%.
Peter Lurie, a former senior FDA official, tells AFP that it is not uncommon for phase 3 trials of drugs or vaccines to fail in a few hundred participants despite positive results in earlier phases. This was the case with an experimental herpes vaccine.
Could the White House step in to get a vaccine approved by FDA experts as early as October despite the vaccine?
“If the health department wanted to override it, it has the power,” says Peter Lurie.
This was done on extremely rare occasions in the agency’s history, particularly in 2011 when the Barack Obama administration decided not to follow an FDA advice in favor of the pill. The next day is available without a prescription.