“The first responsibility of a president is to protect the American people and he does not do it”, denounced the Democratic candidate, who considers that Donald Trump is unfit to govern.
Joe Biden attacked his opponent Donald Trump head on Wednesday on the topic of Covid-19, questioning his credibility, he who waves the promise of the imminent arrival of a vaccine as the country approaches the 200,000 dead mark .
The management of the new coronavirus pandemic since the start of 2020 “totally disqualifies” the Republican billionaire for the second term he intends to run for on November 3, asserted the former vice-president of Barack Obama during a speech Wednesday afternoon in his home town of Wilmington, Delaware.
“The first responsibility of a president is to protect the American people and he doesn’t do it,” he said, making the pandemic the most tragic symbol of what he considers to be the president’s incapacity. to govern.
On Tuesday evening, Donald Trump again sought to reassure the population during a television show by claiming that the coronavirus would eventually disappear over time – while nearly a thousand Americans still die from the virus every day, and that the official toll will reach 200,000 dead in the coming days, a toll that is itself underestimated.
“Everything is going to be fine, it’s disappearing. And that will go away even faster with vaccines, ”the former businessman said on ABC.
He then referred to the construction of collective immunity, that is to say the natural contamination of a sufficiently high proportion of the population to stop the circulation of the virus, a level which is achieved in return for a number of proportional death. But he apparently got the word wrong, since he said “herd mentality” instead of “herd immunity”.
“No trust in Trump”
“Trump confirmed again this evening that after allowing the worst health crisis in 100 years to worsen for eight months, he not only has no plan, but he does not understand anything,” said the spokeswoman for Joe Biden, Kate Bedingfield.
Still, the vaccine race is moving fast in the United States, with two candidates (Pfizer and Moderna) on the verge of having recruited 30,000 participants in their clinical trials against placebo.
“We are a few weeks away from having one,” Donald Trump repeated Tuesday, without specifying whether he was talking about the availability of results or of an official authorization. “It could be three, four weeks.”
“I trust vaccines, I trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald Trump. And right now, Americans can’t be confident either, ”Joe Biden replied on Wednesday.
Even if clinical trials were conclusive before the November 3 election, which is deemed unlikely by officials and experts, dose distribution will initially be “very limited” and reserved for certain priority populations, possibly from November or December, Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) director Robert Redfield told Congress on Wednesday.
“If you ask me when the rest of Americans can get the vaccine to get back to normal life, I don’t think until the second or third quarter of 2021,” he predicted.
Logistical preparations have already started. An official of Operation Warp Speed, which coordinates the government’s entire vaccine strategy, announced on Wednesday that the goal was to distribute the first doses of vaccine within 24 hours of a possible emergency authorization by the Medicines Agency (FDA ).
It is the integrity of this authorization process that is now in doubt, despite promises from the FDA and the laboratories to respect the usual standards and to authorize a vaccine only if the tests show that it reduces the incidence of Covid-19 by at least 50%.
Peter Lurie, a former senior FDA official, tells AFP that it is not uncommon for phase 3 trials of drugs or vaccines to fail, despite positive results in previous phases on a few hundred participants – – this was the case with an experimental vaccine against herpes.
Could the White House intervene to approve a vaccine as early as October, despite opposition from FDA experts?
“If the health department wanted to override it, it has the power,” says Peter Lurie.
This has only been done on extremely rare occasions in the agency’s history, notably in 2011, when the administration of Barack Obama decided not to follow an FDA advice in favor of the pill. next day is available without a prescription.