Joe Biden said at an ABC town hall Thursday night that he would take a potential coronavirus vaccine if one became available by the end of the year "if the body of scientists" says it's ready.

Why it matters: Biden and others have expressed fears that the Trump administration has politicized the coronavirus response and is seeking rapid approval and distribution of a vaccine.

Biden also said he would be open to making a safe vaccine mandatory depending on its efficacy, how much the virus is spreading and "when it comes out and how it's being distributed."

  • But he acknowledged that as president, he wouldn't be able to enforce such a mandate. "That's the problem," Biden said. "You can't say, 'Everyone has to do this.'"
  • Instead, he said he would encourage governors and local officials to tell their constituents to get the vaccine.

What he's saying: "The point is that if the scientists, if the body of scientists say that this is what is ready to be done and it's been tested, they've gone through the three phases, yes, I would take it and I'd encourage people to take it."

  • Biden said he meets with leading scientists several times a week to be briefed on the potential vaccine: "They're not there yet. And most scientists say, it's not likely to have a vaccine that would be available until the beginning of next year, into the spring of next year."

Go deeper ... Biden: "I trust vaccines, I trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald Trump"

Go deeper

Poll: Majority of Americans ready to accept the election result

People vote at a Masonic temple in Brooklyn. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A majority of Americans say they will accept the U.S. election result, even if the candidate they support loses, a Reuters/Ipsos poll shows.

Why it matters: There are heightened concerns of post-election violence this year, prompting officials in some cities and states to take unusual measures to prepare.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk — Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"— COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear themU.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
  3. World: Italy tightens restrictions Spain declares new state of emergency.

Amy Coney Barrett's immediate impact

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

In her first week on the job, Amy Coney Barrett may be deciding which votes to count in the presidential election. By her third week, she’ll be deciding the fate of the Affordable Care Act.

Where it stands: The Senate votes on Barrett’s nomination tomorrow. If she’s confirmed, Chief Justice John Roberts is expected to swear her in at the Supreme Court within hours, an administration official tells Axios.