The Food and Drug Administration is considering whether to allow a vaccine against the coronavirus to be used on an emergency basis before its formal approval process is finished, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has told states to be ready to distribute doses by Nov. 1 — two days before the election.
But wanting a vaccine to be ready by the time the polls open and getting one that is safe, effective and accepted by the American people are two very different things. And the Trump administration’s attempts to make government agency leaders support the president’s political positions this year have undermined public trust in the very institutions needed to evaluate and distribute the immunizations. Now the same impulses that have led Trump to downplay the virus and latch onto imagined miracle cures could also get in the way of an effective vaccine.
Trump is right that