Politics Magazine

"October Surprise" - An Unsafe Vaccine Rushed To Market?

Posted on the 04 August 2020 by Jobsanger
Donald Trump is trailing badly in all of the presidential polls, and must do something radical if he is to get re-elected.
There are many who believe he will spring an "October Surprise" on the public. What could it be? Many are now thinking it could be a vaccine for the Coronavirus -- rushed to market before it can be shown to be safe or effective.
He would then try to pose as the "savior" of the American people by taking credit for the vaccine. The problem is that scientist or health official thinks a vaccine can be put on the market that fast. It would take months longer just to prove, with testing, that the vaccine is both safe and effective. No health official thinks a vaccine is possible before early in 2021 -- and maybe longer.
And a vaccine that's rushed to market before it's been properly tested could be very dangerous. It could have side effects that would harm many people, or it could be ineffective -- causing people to think they are safe and putting themselves in danger of infection by discontinuing safety measures.
That won't stop Trump though. He's already shown that he does not care about the heal of American citizens. We know that by his atrocious mishandling of the Coronavirus pandemic so far. He only cares about one thing -- his re-election. Because of this, it's entirely believable that Trump would rush an unproven vaccine to market.
Here's a part of how Greg Sargent reports this in The Washington Post:
We are now learning, via an extraordinary new report in the New York Times, that many scientists fear that Trump will attempt the ultimate “October surprise.” These scientists — which include some inside the government — worry that Trump will thoroughly corrupt the process designed to ensure the safety and efficacy of any new vaccine against the coronavirus. It is the perfect Trumpian paradox that his long record of just this sort of corruption underscores why this scenario should be entertained with deadly seriousness — but also why it will likely fail. As the Times reports, “experts inside and outside the government” fear that “the White House will push the Food and Drug Administration to overlook insufficient data and give at least limited emergency approval to a vaccine, perhaps for use by specific groups like front-line health care workers, before the vote on Nov. 3.” Importantly, this is not just speculative. These insiders already see concrete grounds for fearing this is underway, and some are actively working to maintain the integrity of the process. Among the revelations:
  • As part of the exhaustive process of approving vaccines, an independent advisory panel of outside experts is supposed to weigh in, and the FDA generally follows their advice. But under questioning from the Times, a senior administration official refused to confirm that any emergency approval will be vetted through that panel.
  • One member of that FDA advisory committee says on the record that many people inside the process “are very nervous” about whether the administration will prematurely say a vaccine has been tested and is safe, and then “roll it out.” This expert says these people are right to be worried about this: “They should be.”
  • Trump told supporters on Sunday night that he expects a vaccine to be available “far ahead of schedule” and “very, very early before the end of the year.” That’s at odds with his own health experts’ claim that the most realistic expectation is early 2021, and Trump also said the FDA has “been great, at my instruction.” His intentions are clear: At minimum, he will try to push up limited approval so it happens before the election, and then take credit for making that happen.
  • Trump has explicitly tied the timing of the vaccine to his reelection needs. When he announced a campaign shake-up, he also said he’ll win in part because vaccines will “soon be on the way.”
  • Jared Kushner is a “regular participant in meetings" overseeing the vaccine effort, the Times reports. Given the role of Trump’s son-in-law in steering reelection strategy and his lack of expertise, it’s hard to imagine Kushner is there to ensure quality control.
  • People familiar with those conversations tell the Times that White House officials regularly ask about getting a vaccine by October. Trump’s campaign advisers privately refer to a vaccine before the election as “the holy grail.”

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