(CBS) – Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden nominee said he’d be vaccinated against COVID-19, if there were “a vaccine tomorrow,” he said in Pennsylvania Monday.
After a meeting with labor leaders in Lancaster, Biden was asked by CBS News whether he would take a vaccination, if the Trump administration developed one before the election.
“I would want to see what the scientists said,” Biden replied. “I want full transparency on the vaccine.”
He said of the president, “One of the problems is the way he is playing with politics. He’s said so many things that aren’t true.”
There is already a significant percentage of Americans who are anxious about getting vaccinated, should the administration announce a vaccine has been approved. A CBS News poll released Sunday found that just 21% of voters nationwide now say they would get a vaccine as soon as possible if one became available at no cost, down from 32% in late July.
Most say they would consider it but would wait to see what happens to others before receiving one themselves. Two-thirds of voters think if a vaccine were announced as soon as this year, their initial thought would be that it was rushed through without enough testing, rather than a scientific achievement accomplished quickly. Biden acknowledged this could pose an obstacle.
“I’m worried if we did have a really good vaccine people would be reluctant to take it. So, he is undermining public confidence,” Biden said of the president. “But pray God we have it. If I could get a vaccine tomorrow, I’d do it. If it cost me the election I would do it. We need a vaccine and we need it now. We have to listen to the scientists.”
Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris said in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that if there were a vaccine that were approved before the election, “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 whatever he’s talking about. I would not take his word for it. He wants us to inject bleach — no, I will not take his word.”
She said later in the interview that if top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said it was safe to take it and he took the vaccination, she said she would trust him.
President Trump on Monday reiterated that a vaccine would be produced “in record time,” and again floated the possibility that the nation “could even have it during the month of October.”
He attacked Biden and Harris for their “anti-vaccine rhetoric” and called on them to “immediately apologize for it, claiming it was “just for politics.” He vowed that “the vaccine will be very safe and very effective.”
Gabrielle Ake and Kate Rydell contributed to this report.