Trump Administration Tried To Time Vaccine Distribution With Election
A new report says that the Trump administration is pressuring the CDC and state governors to time vaccine distribution preparations with the Presidential Election. Specifically, governors were told to be prepared for mass distribution two days before election day. Experts aren’t certain a vaccine will be ready at that point.
The CDC contacted governors, according to McClatchy DC, saying that the Trump administration wants vaccine distribution sites ready to go on November 1st. They want governors to ‘fast-track’ any permits and other legal obstacles that could delay sites being prepared to distribute hundreds of thousands of doses.
It’s not only governors who have been contacted. Delivery firms have also been told to prepare, with refrigerated trucks and freezer farms by the beginning of November.
Experts, however, aren’t so sure that a safe and effective vaccine will be ready so soon. The Guardian reports that there are at least 170 vaccine candidates currently in various stages of research and testing, and that, while this process normally takes years, scientists are hoping that a COVID-19 vaccine can be ready for use in 12-18 months.
At best, that timeline still doesn’t offer a sufficiently-tested option until months after the election.
Trump has steadily predicted that a vaccine would be ready in the fall. Mike Pence echoed this back in July, also saying that the administration was preparing by ordering supplies such as syringes by the millions, so that the nation would be prepared to distribute the vaccine the moment it became available. Mitch McConnell, by contrast, actually released a PSA around the same time asking Americans to wear masks and saying that “no one believes” a vaccine will be available before the end of the year.