The United States President Donald Trump has given a hint that a COVID-19 vaccine could be available much before the November 3 election, even as his political rival Joe Biden sought more transparency on the issue.
“This could’ve taken two or three years, and instead it’s going to be – going to be done in a very short period of time,” Trump said during a news conference. “Could even have it during the month of October,” Trump added, calling Biden’s doubts “political lies”.
President Trump’s comments came days after vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris said she would not take Trump’s word on the safety and efficacy of an anti-virus vaccine, if one were ready before the US presidential vote.
Trump faces intense pressure to curb the contagion that has clouded his re-election prospects, sparking worries his administration could rush COVID-19 vaccine research to fit a political timetable.
Joe Biden also weighed in on Monday, saying he wanted transparency and scientific facts on any future vaccine.
“I’m worried if we do have a really good vaccine, people are going to be reluctant to take it. So he’s (Trump) undermining public confidence,” Biden said.
Trump, who is behind in national polls, fired back saying his rivals in the November 3 vote had both delivered “reckless anti-vaccine rhetoric.”
“It’s so dangerous for our country what they say,” Trump told a press conference. “The vaccine will be very safe and very effective.”
The global COVID-19 death toll has passed another milestone, exceeding 890,000, with 890,260 confirmed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University.
Here is a list of 10 worst hit countries around the globe:
United States: 189,166
United Kingdom: 41,643