Speaking as a guest on Geraldo Rivera’s radio show, President Donald Trump said Thursday that a vaccine to protect people against the coronavirus may be available “right around” Election Day, November 3.
“We have great companies,” Trump said. “The rest of the world is also doing vaccines, so let’s see how they do.”
The statement is bound to lead to accusations that Trump is using the vaccine to help himself politically, but Trump and other administration officials have said that there will be no political dealings around the vaccine, The Hill reported.
Trump also said that any other president would have taken two years to get a vaccine onto the market. “I’m rushing it. I am. I’m pushing everybody,” Trump said to Rivera.
Vaccine “wouldn’t hurt” Trump re-election chances
Trump acknowledged later on Thursday that having a vaccine “wouldn’t hurt” his re-election chances.
“But I’m doing it not for the election,” he said. “I want it fast because I want to save a lot of lives.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci has said he thinks there will be a vaccine for the coronavirus by the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021.
Several pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer and Moderna have entered the final phase of clinical trials for vaccines, The Hill reported, but even after the trials are completed, it will take some time to manufacture the number of doses that will be needed and distribute them.
Vaccine manufacturers ramp up in anticipation of clinical trial completion
The federal government has made contracts with a number of companies developing vaccines for the coronavirus, and manufacturing for several of them has already begun so that distribution can begin as soon as clinical trials prove successful.
While deaths from the coronavirus are much lower than they were at its initial peak in April and May, positive test results have spiked as testing has increased and people have returned to work and some normal activities.
Even with renewed shutdowns of some businesses like bars, nightclubs and large concerts and sporting events, jobless claims are continuing to drop.
A vaccine may be just what the country needs to have a real return to normalcy–if trials are successful and the vaccine is safe for people to use.