Harris Says She May Not Take COVID Vaccine if Touted by Trump Administration


California Sen. Kamala Harris, the running mate of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, indicated she might not take a COVID-19 vaccine touted by President Donald Trump.

In a preview of an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash that is set to air Sunday, Harris suggested she may not take such a vaccine if it is approved prior to the November election.

Bash asked Harris, “Do you trust that, in the situation where we’re in now, that the public health experts and the scientists will get the last word on the efficacy of a vaccine?”

“If past is prologue that they will not, they’ll be muzzled, they’ll be suppressed, they will be sidelined,” Harris said.

“Because [Trump is] looking at an election coming up in less than 60 days and he’s grasping for whatever he can get to pretend he has been a leader on this issue when he is not.”

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Bash then asked Harris whether, if “there is a vaccine that is approved and even distributed before the election,” she would get it.

“I will say that I would not trust Donald Trump and it would have to be a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and the reliability of whatever he’s talking about,” she concluded.

“I will not take his word for it.”

The stance could be viewed as a problematic one for Harris, as there is a notion that Democrats believe life cannot return to a pre-pandemic level of normality until a safe vaccine is available.

A refusal to take such a vaccine by Biden or his running mate simply because it was touted by the president could be viewed as politically motivated and might encourage others to avoid an effective vaccine.

The statements made by Harris are already being challenged online:

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There is no evidence that the president’s word on a vaccine is not credible, or that Trump would interfere with science, as Harris asserted in the interview.

The federal government has been helping to accelerate the creation of multiple vaccines in an initiative called Operation Warp Speed.

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In a report about the upcoming interview, CNN quoted Moncef Slaoui, the operation’s chief adviser, saying he would not tolerate political interference or pressure in the creation of a coronavirus vaccine.

”I have to say there has been absolutely no interference,” Slaoui said in regard to Operation Warp Speed’s work.

Slaoui has also said that if there were any such interference, he would resign.

NPR reported such a vaccine could be distributed within two months.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have sent states guidelines on how they can be prepared to distribute a vaccine as soon as Nov. 1.

Trump has said he is hopeful a vaccine can be available before the end of the year.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.