(CBS) — Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris declined to say whether she would take an approved COVID-19 vaccine distributed ahead of the upcoming election, saying she would not take President Trump’s word that a vaccine was ready to be used.
“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,” Harris said in an interview with CNN on Saturday. “I will not take his word for it.”
She also said she believed public health experts would be sidelined in the development of a vaccine.
“They’ll be muzzled, they’ll be suppressed, they will be sidelined because he’s looking at an election coming up in less than 60 days and he’s grasping to get whatever he can to pretend he has been a leader on this issue when he is not,” Harris said.
In an interview with “CBS This Morning” last week, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said political considerations would not affect the development of a vaccine.
“President Trump has made it clear and I’ve made it clear these decisions will be driven by– by the standards of science and evidence and FDA’s gold standards,” Azar said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told state governors in a letter to prepare to take steps to distribute a potential vaccine by November 1, two days before Election Day. Three possible vaccines are in stage-three trials in the U.S. right now.
Polling shows many Americans are skeptical of a potential coronavirus vaccine. A recent CBS News poll shows only 30% say they would get one “as soon as possible.” Many more, half of the country, say they would consider it, but would first “wait to see” what happened to others.