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Biden says he trusts scientists on vaccine but I don’t trust Donald Trump

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Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden says he trusts scientists – not President Trump – when it comes to producing a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine.

The former vice president, speaking and answering questions from Delaware reporters on Wednesday after sitting down for a briefing on the coronavirus pandemic with his team of health experts, also stressed that the efforts to produce and distributing a COVID-19 vaccine should not be “politically perverted.” ”

Biden accused Trump of “thoughtless inaction” in tackling the epidemic and accused the president of reducing the use of masks, which he called “the easiest and most effective way we have to reduce the spread of this disease ”.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES POSSIBLE VACCINE MOVEMENT PLANS FOR ALL AMERICANS

The former vice president spoke hours after the Trump administration announced plans for the eventual rollout of a coronavirus vaccine for all Americans. Biden stressed that “Scientific advances don’t care more about calendars than the virus. They certainly do not adhere to electoral cycles. And their timing, approval and distribution should never be skewed by political considerations. It should be determined solely by science and safety. “

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden answers questions from reporters in Wilmington, Del., After sitting for a briefing on the coronanvirus pandemic with his team of health experts on September 16, 2020.

The president has hinted repeatedly over the past two months that a vaccine could be available by the end of the year, possibly before election day on November 3, although his own health experts are much less optimistic.

Asked in early August if a vaccine might be available by election day, Trump said, “I’m optimistic it’s around then.” When asked if having a vaccine before the November election would increase his chances of winning another four-year term in the White House, the president replied that “it wouldn’t hurt. It wouldn’t hurt. But I am not doing it for the elections. I do it fast because I want to save a lot of lives.

And at a Labor Day press conference, the president said, “We’re going to have a vaccine very soon, maybe even before a very special date. You know what date I’m talking about.

Alluding to those comments, Biden stressed that “we cannot allow politics to interfere in any way with the vaccine. And he said, “I trust the vaccines. I trust scientists. But I don’t trust Donald Trump. And right now, the American people can’t either.

TRUMP REFUSES CDC ON CORONAVIRUS VACCINE SCHEDULE

Shortly after Biden spoke, the president told reporters on Wednesday that “we are on track to deliver and distribute the vaccine very, very safely and efficiently. We believe we can start in October.”

The president directly contradicted a much longer schedule for a vaccine offered earlier today by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Robert Redfield, who was testifying on Capitol Hill.

“I think he made a mistake in saying that. This is just incorrect information,” Trump said Wednesday in response to a question from Fox News’ John Roberts. “I think he was confused.”

Biden quickly took to Twitter to substantiate his earlier criticism of Trump, highlighting “when I said I trust vaccines and trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald Trump – c is what I meant. “

GOP RIPS ASKS CANDIDATES TO SUGGEST THAT THEY CANNOT TAKE A VACCINE

In recent days, the president and the Trump campaign have accused Biden of playing politics with the vaccine, questioning the president’s intentions. Ahead of the former vice president’s speech on Wednesday, the Trump campaign held a press call titled “Joe Biden’s Coronavirus Vaccine Fearmongering.”

According to a nationwide Fox News poll conducted earlier this month, 54% of voters said they plan to be vaccinated against the coronavirus when it becomes available, but more than a third of those polled said no.

And nearly two-thirds of Americans polled in a recent national Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) poll said they feared political pressure from the Trump administration would lead the Food and Drug Administration to rush to approve a vaccine against coronavirus without making sure it is. safe and efficient.

“Public skepticism about the FDA and the vaccine approval process is eroding public confidence even before a vaccine hits the gate,” said the chief executive officer of KFF, Drew Altman.

Former Democratic Presidential Vice President Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks after attending a coronavirus vaccine briefing with public health experts Wednesday, September 16, 2020, in Wilmington, Of the. (AP Photo / Patrick Semansky)

Biden said he wanted to answer three questions.

“What criteria will be used to ensure that a vaccine meets the scientific standard for safety and efficacy? If the administration gives the green light to a vaccine, who will validate that the decision was driven by science rather than politics? And how can we be sure that the vaccine will be distributed safely, at no cost, and without any hint of favoritism? “

WATCH: JOE BIDEN AIMS AT TRUMP ON CORONAVIRUS POLICY

Asked by reporters if his skepticism of the president could prevent people from trusting the science behind the vaccine, Biden replied “no – because they know he (Trump) has no respect for scientists… Trust scientists. It’s one thing for Trump to say the vaccine is safe. OKAY. Then give it to the Scientific Council. Have total transparency. “

Biden stressed that if scientists say a vaccine is safe, he will take it “absolutely”. “If these three questions that I asked can be answered, yes. Absolutely.”

And he swore: “I am elected president, I will start by implementing an effective distribution plan as soon as I take office.”

The former vice president – speaking as the national death toll from coronavirus stood at nearly 200,000 – highlighted projections from health experts that COVID-19 cases and deaths will increase in November. He warned that “by the first of the year 215,000 will be dead. Additional. It is more than what is already dead. We need leadership now to prevent this from happening. “

And highlighting the president’s comments Tuesday night at an ABC News town hall, Biden said all the president offered “was the same weak and blameless inaction, the same lies and empty promises we’ve seen since. the beginning. He still won’t accept any responsibility. He still won’t come up with a plan.

During Tuesday night’s town hall, a voter asked the president why he was not more aggressively promoting the use of masks to reduce the spread of the disease.

Trump replied that “there are people who don’t think masks are good.” The president also argued that waiters and waitresses – as a group – are opposed to wearing masks.

But the president was undermined on Wednesday by Redfield of the CDC.

“We have clear scientific evidence that they (the masks) work, and they are our best defense,” Redfield said during his testimony on Capitol Hill. “I could even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine. “

Biden, pointing to Redfield’s comments, stressed that “the president’s first responsibility is to protect the American people and he won’t. It’s totally disqualifying.

The former vice president also highlighted Trump’s comments the night before, criticizing him for failing to deliver on his commitment last month to institute a national mask mandate to prevent the spread of the virus. .

“I am not the president. He’s the president, ”Biden said.

But he said if he was elected, “I would call all the governors in the White House” to advocate for the implementation of the mask mandates and added that at a minimum, “I would not walk around. saying the masks don’t matter. “

Biden said: “The question is whether I have the legal authority as president to sign an executive order. We believe we do, but we can’t guarantee it to you yet. But he stressed that if he had the legal authority to sign a decree on masks, “I would.”

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