President Donald Trump claimed Tuesday that a coronavirus vaccine could be ready as early as Oct. 13, just weeks before Election Day.
Even as public health experts warn against politicizing the rush to produce a vaccine, Trump predicted a shot to ward off COVID-19 could be rolled out within as little as “four weeks.”
“It could be four weeks, it could be eight weeks,” Trump said in a Fox News interview.
Four weeks from Tuesday would be Oct. 13, the day after the Columbus Day long weekend.
The president hopes to roll out a vaccine in the days leading up to the Nov. 3 election to convince voters that he is successfully leading the battle against the pandemic, which has already killed close to 200,000 Americans.
Dr. Anthony Fauci has warned that it is “extremely unlikely” that a vaccine will be ready much before the end of 2020, although other experts say rapid progress on clinical trials makes them more optimistic.
Doctors worry that many Americans won’t trust the safety and efficacy of any vaccine promoted as an election October surprise by Trump, who famously claimed the virus would disappear by spring and has touted unproven miracle cures.
Even if a vaccine is approved ahead of schedule, it is unlikely to stem the deadly pandemic anytime soon as it would take months to roll out to millions of Americans.
A closely watched health model predicts the daily death toll will soar as the weather cools down in the northern states and the total death toll will more than double to 415,000 by the end of the year.
©2020 New York Daily News