WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Trump touched on the subject of coronavirus vaccines during a wide-ranging news conference Monday, intimating that one could be ready by October. Specifically, he said that a vaccine would be ready by a "very special day" without clarifying precisely when he was talking about.
Speculation began immediately that Trump was talking about Election Day.
The Labor Day remarks came from the North Portico of the White House amidst a salvo directed at former Vice President Joe Biden and Democrats, who he called "anti-vaccine" for expressing skepticism at his recent statements on vaccines.
"Under my leadership we will produce a vaccine in record time," Trump said. "Biden and his very liberal running mate....should immediately apologize for the reckless anti-vaccine rhetoric."
Vaccines have taken center stage in recent weeks as progress on numerous candidates continues around the world. President Trump has been criticized for what Democrats have called an unrealistic portrayal of ease with which a safe vaccine can be obtained and distributed. Trump in turn says the Democrats are politicizing the issue. "
Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, cast doubt over the weekend on CNN on the president's authority on the situation.
"I would not trust Donald Trump, and it would have to be a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and the reliability (of the vaccine)," she said.
There are dozens of vaccine candidates that are in various phases of human trials, including three that have been approved for early limited use overseas, according to the New York Times vaccine tracker.
During the conference, Trump also continued to deny recent allegations published in The Atlantic which suggested that he called military veterans and dead servicemembers "suckers."