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In remarks in Delaware on Wednesday, Joe Biden made clear that he trusts the scientists on a coronavirus vaccine but not President Trump, laying out a list of three criteria he wants the administration to meet to ensure the process is not politicized.

Why it matters: Republicans have been criticizing Biden and other Democrats as being anti-vaccine in the wake of recent comments about whether they’d take a vaccine approved by the Trump administration on an expedited timetable.

  • Earlier this month, the president called on his Democratic opponents to “immediately apologize for the reckless anti-vaccine rhetoric that they’re talking right now."

Driving the news: “Let me be clear: I trust vaccines, I trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald Trump,” Biden said. He then called on Trump to answer the following three questions, and said the American people should not have confidence if the president can't answer them:

  1. "What criteria will be used to ensure that a vaccine meets the scientific standard of safety and effectiveness?"
  2. "If the administration greenlights a vaccine, who will validate that the decision was driven by science rather than politics? What group of scientists will that be?"
  3. "How can we be sure that the distribution of the vaccine will take place safely, cost-free and without a hint of favoritism?"

The bottom line: Biden said that if these three questions are answered, then he and others should "absolutely" take the vaccine.

Context: Before giving remarks, Biden had a virtual briefing with public health experts on developing and distributing a COVID-19 vaccine.

Go deeper

Dec 24, 2020 - Health

Mexico becomes first Latin American country to vaccinate against COVID

A nurse was the first person in Mexico to receive the vcaccine. Photo: Pedro Pardo/AFP via Getty

Mexico became the first Latin American country to begin coronavirus vaccinations, amid a surge in cases, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The serum arrives as Mexico's hospitals reach a breaking point. The country tallies over 1.3 million COVID-19 cases and 120,000 deaths, per John Hopkins University data, though actual numbers are believed to be much higher.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Dec 23, 2020 - Health

Why Americans will demand to be able to prove they're vaccinated

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

You've received a coronavirus vaccination — but can you prove it? The answer to that question will help determine how the global economy functions for the next few years.

Why it matters: The federal government will probably neither mandate nor encourage digital immunity passports or other proofs of vaccination. But privately-operated digital certificates are already being developed — and U.S. law means that anybody who gets vaccinated here should be able to obtain the proof they need.

The only Trump foreign policy Biden wants to keep

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Joe Biden disagrees with most of President Trump's foreign policy initiatives, but several of his advisers tell Axios that there is one he plans to keep: the Abraham Accords.

Why it matters: Continuing to push the Abraham Accords — the biblical branding the administration has given to the individual normalization agreements between Israel and Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates — could help Biden build positive relationships with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other leaders in the Persian Gulf.