Scientists Fear Donald Trump Will Push Untested Or Unproven Vaccine For ‘October Surprise’
While experts have advised caution, saying that functional vaccines can take years to create and test adequately, Donald Trump has been assuring the public that one will be available quite soon. Now some scientists are saying they fear he’ll push for the release of a vaccine that isn’t sufficiently tested or ready for release, shortly before the election, in hopes of boosting his support.
As the New York Times reports, it’s being called Operation Warp Speed, and it’s “incredibly ambitious. The timing of Trump’s promised deadline — October — is also notable. One member of the Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory committee, Dr. Paul A. Offit, says that people on the team are worried that they’ll face political interference — that “the administration is going to reach their hand into the Warp Speed bucket” and say the vaccine has been through sufficient testing, after only a few thousand tests and insufficient data.
In a recent fact sheet, the White House assured the public that the vaccine will be ready with initial doses by January. However, Trump has actually stated in press conferences that the vaccine should be available by the end of the year, and Vice President Mike Pence said in a roundtable in Florida that millions of doses would be available by fall.
Even Mitch McConnell has contradictied Trump on this, saying, that nobody really believes there will be a vaccine by the end of the year.
It’s this urgency, with Trump and surrogates predicting a vaccine in record time, that has experts worried that he’ll push the product onto the market before it’s ready, and before it’s tested for safety.