President Trump on Monday teased that a coronavirus vaccine could be ready by next month, as he demanded an apology for “reckless anti-vaccine rhetoric” by Democratic running mates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
“We’ve done an incredible job, and in speed like nobody’s ever seen before,” said Trump during a kitchen-sink press conference from the North Portico of the White House, referring to a vaccine. “This could have taken two or three years. And instead it’s going to be done in a very short period of time. Could even have it during the month of October.
“The vaccine will be very safe and very effective and it will be delivered very soon,” he continued. “You could have a very big surprise coming up.”
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention two weeks ago told leaders in all 50 states and several major cities to prepare to distribute a coronavirus vaccine as early as Nov. 1.
Democratic vice presidential nominee Harris told CNN on Sunday that she would be skeptical of any vaccine endorsed by Trump.
The president on Monday slammed Harris and presidential hopeful Biden for the remarks.
“Biden and his very liberal running mate are the most liberal person in Congress, by the way, [who] is not a competent person, in my opinion, [who] would destroy this country, that would destroy this government — should immediately apologize for the reckless anti-vaccine rhetoric that they are talking right now,” he said.
Trump went on to say that Biden and Harris are spreading “fake rhetoric” that “undermines science” and holds back “this incredible vaccine.”
Meanwhile Monday, Biden said he would defer to professionals on whether to take a Trump-approved vaccine.
“I would want to see what the scientists said,” Biden told reporters, according to a video tweeted by a CBS News reporter. “He’s said so many things that aren’t true, I’m worried that if we do have a really good vaccine, people are going to be reluctant to take it.”
Still, Biden stressed the urgent need for a vaccine, saying that it even trumped his presidential aspirations.
“If I could get a vaccine tomorrow, I’d do it. If it cost me the election, I’d do it,” he said. “We need the vaccine, we need it now.”
Biden doubled down during a Monday afternoon virtual chat with members of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations.
“I got asked the question, if the president announced tomorrow we had a vaccine, would you take it?” Biden said. “Only if it was completely transparent that other experts in the country could look at it. Only if we knew all of what went into it.
“Because so far, nothing he’s told us has been true.”