Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris agreed on COVID-19 in the October 7th debate – especially when it came to the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic and accelerated pressure on a vaccine.
Senator Harris initially criticized the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic. “The American people have seen what is the greatest failure of presidential administration in our country’s history,” she said. “And here are the facts: 210,000 dead in our country in the past few months. Over 7 million people who have contracted this disease…. And here’s the thing: On January 28th, the Vice President and President were briefed on the nature of this pandemic…. They knew what was going on and they didn̵
Today the Trump administration has no plan, Harris continued. “Joe Biden does. Our plan is about what we need to do about a national strategy for tracing contacts, testing, administering the vaccine, and making sure it’s free for everyone. “
Pence, who is also head of the White House’s coronavirus task force, described the pandemic as “a very challenging time” this year. “But I want the American people to know from day one that President Donald Trump has put America’s health first,” he said. Pence then accused the Biden campaign of plagiarism, claiming their plan “reads very much like President Trump and our task force and I have taken every step of the way.”
Given the dire state of COVID-19 contact tracking and testing in the US over the past seven months, this is quite an accusation. “Whatever the Vice President claims the government did, it obviously didn’t work – when you look at over 210,000 bodies in our country,” Harris said.
Finally, the conversation turned to a possible COVID-19 vaccine. Earlier, Senator Harris said she would be careful about taking a vaccine that was approved under a Trump administration that was not supported by the medical community, CNN reported, and she took this opportunity to reiterate her position: ” When Health Professionals When Dr. Fauci, when the doctors tell us to take it, I’ll be the first to take it, ”Harris said. “But when Donald Trump tells us to take it, I won’t take it.”
Pence responded by saying that we will have a vaccine in “record time,” possibly “less than a year.” He then accused Harris of “undermining the public’s trust in a vaccine” and urged them to “stop playing politics with people’s lives,” which is pretty rich as the government is in the middle of the COVID-19 relief negotiations Congress has stopped.
Although there are several promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates currently in development, including some in Phase 3 clinical trials, we are still a long way from receiving a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) -approved vaccine. And we are still further from a vaccine that is generally available to the public.
As experts have repeatedly said, the absolute best scenario is getting a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the end of the year. And if things continue to go well, the general public may be able to get them in spring or summer 2021, SELF previously stated. In response to pressure from the Trump administration and to ensure public confidence in the vaccine regulatory process, a group of drug companies signed a pledge not to bring safety beyond safety when developing a vaccine.
When the debate came up over COVID-19, both candidates came out peppy, but only Harris appeared to be on the side of actual science.