Vice President Joe Biden told reporters this week during a campaign stop in Pennsylvania that he would take a potential coronavirus vaccine even if it costs him the election.
Biden’s comments come as questions are arising over the timing of a coronavirus vaccine as President Donald Trump continues to hint that a vaccine could be ready before Election Day – a claim many top health experts say is highly unlikely.
"We're going to have a vaccine very soon... maybe even before a very special date, you know what date I'm talking about,” Trump said on Monday.
Biden in Pennsylvania expressed concern that Trump is undermining trust in the public health system. But conceded he too is ready for a vaccine.
“One of the problems is the way he's playing with policy,” Biden said. “He says so many things that aren't true, I'm worried if we do have really good vaccine, people will be reluctant to take it. So he's undermining public confidence, but pray God, we have it. If I could get a vaccine tomorrow, I'd do it. If it cost me the election, I'd do it. We need a vaccine. We need it now."
Although several vaccine candidates are in Phase 3 studies, leading public health experts suggest a vaccine would most likely be approved around the end of the year or early in 2021.
In late August, the CDC told states to begin to prepare distributing a vaccine by Nov. 1. But Surgeon General Jerome Adams said that just because states will be ready to help distribute a vaccine on Nov. 1 does not mean a vaccine will be ready by then.
"We've always said that we're hopeful for a vaccine by the end of this year or the beginning of next year,” Adams told Good Morning America.
"We want to make sure states are available to distribute it," he added.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, in an interview with NBC News last week, agreed that he believes a “safe and effective” vaccine could be ready by the end of the year.
"I believe that by the time we get to the end of this calendar year, that we will feel comfortable that we do have a safe and effective vaccine," he told NBC News.