New Delhi: Democratic US vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris said she would not trust President Donald Trump alone on any potential coronavirus vaccine, adding that it would have to be a ‘credible source’ that talks about ‘the efficacy and the reliability of whatever he’s talking about’. Also Read - US SC Justice Ginsburg Dies Setting up Pre-poll Confrontation
In an exclusive interview with CNN, Harris asserted that the US president had a track record of suppressing expert opinion about the pandemic due to which she is worried that it might happen again in the case of a prospective vaccine. Also Read - Expect to Have COVID-19 Vaccine Doses For Every American by April: Trump
“It was going to be an issue for all of us to get a vaccine that was approved and distributed before the presidential elections. 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. I would not take his word”, she told CNN. Also Read - After US Announces Ban on TikTok From Sunday, Chinese App Says Will Fight Ongoing Crackdown
The California Senator further said that public health experts would be “suppressed, sidelined” with regard to getting the last word on the efficacy of the vaccine.
“If past is the prologue that they will not, they’ll be muzzled, they’ll be suppressed, they will be sidelined because he’s looking at an election coming up in less than 60 days and he’s grasping to get whatever he can to pretend he has been a leader on this issue when he is not”, she added.
Her statement comes days after Trump that the vaccine for coronavirus being developed by AstraZeneca has reached phase three clinical trials in the United States and is very close to being finalised for approval.
The phase 3 trial is being implemented as part of Operation Warp Speed, a multi-agency collaboration led by the US Health and Human Services, which aims at accelerating the development and manufacturing of medical countermeasures for COVID-19 and delivering 300 million doses of an effective vaccine by January 2021.
“I am pleased to announce that AstraZeneca vaccine has reached phase three clinical trials,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday.
Notably, AstraZeneca is one of the leaders in the race to develop COVID-19 vaccine. Other companies that have COVID-19 vaccines in phase 3 trials include Moderna Inc and Pfizer Inc.
(With agency inputs)