Trump says, without evidence, vaccine could be ready by Election Day

When asked if a vaccine could be ready by Nov. 3, Trump said, "I think in some cases, yes, possible before, but right around that time," contradicting health experts.
Image: Donald Trump
President Donald Trump calls on a reporter during a briefing in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on Aug. 5, 2020.Andrew Harnik / AP
By Lauren Egan

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Thursday that a vaccine for the coronavirus could be ready before Election Day, contradicting the timeline that many health experts have said is realistic.

When asked on Geraldo Rivera's radio show if a vaccine could be ready by Nov. 3, Trump said, "I think in some cases, yes, possible before, but right around that time."

"We have great companies, great. These are the greatest companies of the world," Trump said. "And the rest of the world is also doing vaccines, so let's see how they do. I'm all for them, whoever comes up with them."

Experts say the development, testing and production of a vaccine for the public is still months away, and it would take a medical miracle for one to be available this year, much less before Election Day.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious diseases official, said in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday that vaccine doses could be available in 2021, a more sober timeline than Trump offered.

Fauci also assured Americans in the interview that health regulators would not be pressured into rushing out vaccine before the November election, saying that “they are not going to let political considerations interfere.”

Trump has repeatedly suggested a vaccine can be made publicly available by the end of the year, but he has provided little evidence to back up his assertion.

The president's comments come as he faces an increasingly difficult re-election, as the economy plummets and millions of Americans remain unemployed due to the coronavirus. Trump continues to consistently trail presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden in national and key battleground polls.