Sep 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden campaign lays out standards for coronavirus vaccine transparency

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden campaign called on President Trump on Tuesday to answer three specific questions before releasing a coronavirus vaccine, while simultaneously warning that Trump may seek to short-circuit the scientific process for the sake of his re-election. 

Why it matters: After Trump accused Joe Biden and Kamala Harris of being anti-vaxxers yesterday, the Biden campaign is trying to establish firm standards on what would allay its fears that Trump isn't accelerating a vaccine for political reasons. 

  • "The concern is not about the vaccine. The concern is about the president interfering in the process, into the scientific process,” Dr. David Kessler, a former FDA commissioner and a Biden adviser, said on a conference call with reporters.
  • "Any vaccine must be a product of science and research," said Symone Sanders, a top Biden adviser.

The three vaccine standards advocated by the Biden campaign:

  • What criteria will be used to ensure that any vaccine meets the scientific standard of safety and efficacy.
  • Who will validate that those standards were met.
  • What is the plan to distribute the vaccine cost-free and safely.

The big picture: Trump has hinted that a vaccine could arrive before the election, raising concerns among Democrats that the vaccine either won’t be effective or won’t be trusted by large sections of the American public.

  • During an AFL-CIO virtual town hall yesterday, Biden told union members not to trust Trump on the vaccine.
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