In an interview on "Fox & Friends" Tuesday, President Trump claimed a vaccine for coronavirus could be approved "in a matter of weeks."
"I'm not doing it for political reasons, I want the vaccine fast," explained Trump. "You wouldn't have a vaccine for years ... I sped up the process with the FDA... We're going to have a vaccine in a matter of weeks, it could be four weeks, it could be eight weeks ... we have a lot of great companies."
The president's statement regarding the vaccine was in response to Democrats who doubt the safety of a potential vaccine being processed too quickly. Concerns about potential political pressure that could lead to a vaccine being approved too early have been expressed by Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his vice-presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris.
When asked by CNN if she would take a vaccine approved before Nov. 3, Harris said "I will not take [Trump's] word for it." Biden has also stated, "I would want to see what the scientists said." In a debate against Sen. Thom Tillis, Democratic Senate candidate Cal Cunningham also expressed that he would be hesitant to take a vaccine that's approved by the end of the year.
However, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has repeatedly said that it is in fact possible for a vaccine to be approved as safe and effective by the end of 2020 or early 2021. The challenge after that would be mass-manufacturing the vaccine and distributing it to Americans.
When asked about his interviews with journalist Bob Woodward, whose book about Trump revealed conversations in which the president said he was downplaying the threat of the virus, Trump said, "I don't want to create panic. I don't want to build it up." He also explained that the U.S. is in a better spot now on the pandemic than it was earlier this year.
"We're rounding the turn on the pandemic," Trump said. "Texas is coming down, Florida is doing great."