Speaking with anchor Mark Levin, Trump suggested that everyone, including his political opponents, should be happy over the progress his administration has made in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Instead of saying, ‘Wow, that’s great. It’s going to save a lot of lives and people are going to be protected, and this whole thing will end faster’… They started denigrating it.”
The commander-in-chief insisted that those opposed to him are trying to downplay his officials’ success, describing the efforts to develop a vaccine as “one of the greatest things that anyone’s done, and I’m not saying me — I’m saying anyone. It’s so incredible.”
“The reason they’re doing it is because they think I’ll get credit if we have a vaccine anywhere near the election, but certainly before the election,” Trump continued, claiming that the federal government is ready to distribute the vaccine “very rapidly.”
The president added that he has “totally changed” the process in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), ensuring that a high quality vaccine is developed in record time.
“Same safety, but the speed is from a different world, and we should have the vaccine approved very soon,” he claimed.
As Fox News noted, the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, have both expressed skepticism about the administration’s efforts. Both have suggested that Trump is putting pressure on health officials to rush a vaccine into production.
Earlier this week, Biden said that he trusts the scientific community but that he does not trust Trump, accusing him of mishandling the COVID-19 crisis. He noted, however, that politics should not interfere in the process.
During a press briefing on Friday, Trump said that he expects more than 100 million vaccine doses to be manufactured by the end of the year. By April 2021, he stressed, there will be enough doses for every single American.
The FDA has not yet authorized a vaccine. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the results of key clinical trials should be known by November.
In the United States, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Pfizer are in the final stages of clinical trials.
Per The Guardian, it usually takes years to develop a vaccine, but researchers around the world hope to design an effective one within 12 to 18 months.