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Rush to Vaccinate

The CDC tells states Get Ready for November 1.

The date suggests the federal government anticipates a vaccine will become available just days before President Donald Trump stands for reelection Nov. 3, an aggressive goal that would depend on shots being tested and reviewed by then.

Trump has previously said that he thinks a vaccine will be ready by Election Day or soon before. He’s also accused staff at the Food and Drug Administration of slowing vaccine work to hurt him politically. The claims have raised questions about political interference in vaccine reviews; FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn has promised repeatedly that science will guide any decisions.

Emergency FDA Permit

Michael Fraser, chief executive officer of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials said a FDA emergency-use authorization would likely be needed to distribute a vaccine that soon. The designation allows the agency to use limited data to make a vaccine available for a narrower group of people. The health officials association “would be extremely concerned about a vaccine hasn’t completed Phase 3 trials,” Fraser said.

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What Can Go Wrong?

Among the obvious ramifications, the vaccine might not work, it might make people sick from side effects, and it could even make the virus itself worse for unknown reasons.

The not-so-obvious implication is that it could backfire spectacularly on Trump.

It is clear Trump is rushing a vaccine for political purposes. He is willing to gamble on lives to win an election. 

The irony is Trump is pushing for a vaccine although he talks as if the virus is now much ado about nothing.