After months of expressing distrust of a coronavirus vaccine produced under the Trump administration, both President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are now endorsing the vaccine.
Many Americans have expressed skepticism about taking a vaccine. Gallup found that in September, just half of Americans were willing to get a coronavirus vaccine. That number has been steadily rising, however – 58% of Americans were willing to take the vaccine in October, and 63% were willing to take it in November, the Gallup poll showed. Black Americans are reportedly less willing to get a vaccine than other ethnic groups, with only 26% willing to get the first-generation vaccine, an Axios-Ipsos poll found.
Biden told Americans in early September that he would not take a vaccine unless Trump was “completely transparent and other experts in the country could look at it,” Axios reported.
“I trust vaccines, I trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald Trump,” the former Vice President said when discussing vaccines during a September 16 speech in Wilmington, Delaware, according to the Associated Press. “And at this moment, the American people can’t, either.” (RELATED: Poll: Republican Women Twice As Likely To Doubt Coronavirus Vaccine As Republican Men)
Biden said that coronavirus testing and the distribution of personal protective equipment were surrounded by Trump’s “incompetence and dishonesty.” He said that the United States “can’t afford to repeat those fiascos when it comes to a vaccine,” the Associated Press reported.
A safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine could save countless lives. We need one as soon as possible.
But while I see a vaccine as a product of science, President Trump sees it as a political tool.
Politics should play no role in this. The Administration must answer the following:
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 9, 2020
During an interview in early September with CNN’s Dana Bash, Harris was asked if she would trust a vaccine that was developed and distributed before the election.
“Well, I think that’s going to be an issue for all of us,” Harris said. “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. I will not take his word for it.”
Harris repeated during the vice presidential debate on Oct. 7 that she would not trust the vaccine if Trump told her to take it.
“If Dr. Fauci, if the doctors tell us we should take it, I’ll be the first in line to take it. Absolutely,” Harris told USA Today’s Susan Page when asked if she would take a vaccine if it was ready before the election. “But if Donald Trump tells me to take it, I’m not taking it.”
— The Hill (@thehill) October 8, 2020
Now that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) appears to be close to authorizing Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines – both of which were developed under the Trump administration – Biden and Harris say that they will take the vaccine without hesitation. (RELATED: New York Could Mandate Coronavirus Vaccine With Proposed Legislation)
After being asked Nov. 16 why Americans should have confidence in the vaccine if he was hesitant to take it, Biden said, “I wouldn’t hesitate to get the vaccine.” He added that “the only reason that people question the vaccine now” is because of Trump.
“I wouldn’t hesitate to get the vaccine if in fact Dr. Fauci and these least two organizations, whether it’s Moderna or Pfizer, who have been extremely responsible, conclude that it’s safe and able to be done,” the former vice president said.
During a December 3 interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, both Harris and Biden said that they would take the vaccine, The Hill reported.
“Of course I would,” Harris said when asked if she would take the vaccine once it becomes available. When the same question was asked of Biden, the former Vice President said, “I’d be happy to do that when Dr. Fauci says we have a vaccine that is safe.”