Donald Trump on Monday accused Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, of engaging in "anti-vaccine rhetoric," The Hill reported. The comments came during a White House press conference and in the wake of Harris saying that she wouldn't trust Trump's claims on a coronavirus vaccine released before November.
Trump said the pair should apologize for their "reckless anti-vaccine rhetoric" he believes is putting lives at risk.
"It undermines science, and what happens is all of the sudden you'll have this incredible vaccine and because of that fake rhetoric, it's a political rhetoric... that's all that is."The Trump administration is behind Operation Warp Speed, a partnership between the federal government and various drug companies designed to accelerate the development and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine. The initiative has caused concern among some who believe that the Food and Drug Administration might be pressured by Trump and his allies to release a vaccine that does not meet safety or efficacy standards.
Harris is one political figure who has publicly expressed concern about a fast-tracked vaccine touted by Trump.
"I will say that I would not trust Donald Trump, and it would have to be a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and the reliability of whatever he's talking about," she said in a CNN interview aired in full on Sunday.
A new USA Today/Suffolk poll revealed that two-thirds of U.S. voters surveyed said they would not be using a coronavirus vaccine immediately after it is available to the public. In addition, one in four respondents said they would not be getting a vaccination for the virus at any point in their life.
Biden has publicly said he will be administering a preparation whenever one is available.
"If i can get a vaccine tomorrow, I'd do it. If it cost me the election, I'd do it," he said.
However, the former vice president also stated that he would like to hear from scientists before taking the preparation and accused Trump of undermining Americans' confidence in public health officials.
As reported by ABC News, the Trump campaign expects to have a vaccine at some point in October — just in time for the November election. Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the FDA's vaccine advisory committee and professor at the University of Pennsylvania, previously warned about the possibility of politics influencing the preparation's timeline and said some people within the process are worried, and with good reason.
Despite worries over Trump pushing an early vaccine release for political gain, his administration has claimed that politics will not influence the process.