Biden Blames Trump for Public’s Coronavirus Vaccine Skepticism
U.S. President Elect Joe Biden. (Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg)

Biden Blames Trump for Public’s Coronavirus Vaccine Skepticism

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President-elect Joe Biden said Monday that President Donald Trump has made the American people skeptical about the safety of a coronavirus vaccine by encouraging unproven treatments and politicizing the vaccine approval process.

“I wouldn’t hesitate to get the vaccine,” Biden said after a speech on his economic plan. “The only reason people question the vaccine now is because of Donald Trump.”

During the campaign, Biden and Trump traded barbs over a Covid-19 vaccine. Biden charged that Trump put undue political pressure on scientists and medical experts to skip safety measures to expedite the development of a vaccine before the presidential election. Trump said that Biden had “launched a public campaign” against a coronavirus vaccine by criticizing the development process.

But Biden reaffirmed his position on Monday that if Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, and the pharmaceutical companies said the vaccine was safe and effective, he would take it. Moderna announced Monday that its coronavirus vaccine was 94.5% effective after Pfizer announced last week that its vaccine was more than 90% effective.

But Biden also warned Monday that the lack of cooperation from the Trump administration to work with his transition team could hamper efforts to quickly distribute a vaccine to the American people, a process Biden called a “huge undertaking.” The Biden transition effort cannot officially start communicating with federal agencies until the General Services Administration “ascertains” the results of the election. The head of that agency, Emily Murphy, has so far refused to do so.

“The sooner we have access to the administration’s distribution plan, the sooner this transition would smoothly move forward,” Biden said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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