In remarks in Delaware on Wednesday, Joe Biden made clear that he trusts the scientists on a coronavirus vaccine but not President Trump, laying out a list of three criteria he wants the administration to meet to ensure the process is not politicized.
Why it matters: Republicans have been criticizing Biden and other Democrats as being anti-vaccine in the wake of recent comments about whether they’d take a vaccine approved by the Trump administration on an expedited timetable.
- Earlier this month, the president called on his Democratic opponents to “immediately apologize for the reckless anti-vaccine rhetoric that they’re talking right now.”
Driving the news: “Let me be clear: I trust vaccines, I trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald Trump,” Biden said. He then called on Trump to answer the following three questions, and said the American people should not have confidence if the president can’t answer them:
- “What criteria will be used to ensure that a vaccine meets the scientific standard of safety and effectiveness?”
- “If the administration green lights a vaccine, who will validate that the decision was driven by science rather than politics? What group of scientists will that be?”
- “How can we be sure that the distribution of the vaccine will take place safely, cost-free, and without a hint of favoritism?”
The bottom line: Biden said that if these three questions are answered, then he and others should “absolutely” take the vaccine.
Context: Before giving remarks, Biden had a virtual briefing with public health experts on developing and distributing a COVID-19 vaccine.