Trump’s covid vaccine dilemma: how public skepticism threatens to undermine a possible cure

Abstract: Public health experts say that while companies may be legally covered, they still have a high degree of interest in showing a vaccine is effective. “For many drugs, trials are oriented to showing efficacy and a minimal level of safety, then our system allows them to be released into the wild, into the marketplace,” said Dr. Vikas Saini, president of the Lown Institute, a nonpartisan think tank in Massachusetts that advocates for health care reform. If any of the current vaccine trials show high efficacy there could be political pressure to rush it to market to save lives and help return the country to normal. “We desperately need a vaccine. It would be a game-changer,” said Saini. “So, what we face is a genuine trade off that is now being distorted horrendously by the politics. We may get a signal of efficacy before we get a signal of safety,” said Saini. That presents a dilemma for whoever is president. "Trying to time good news results around Election Day for political advantage is not a Trump thing or a Biden thing. That’s what politicians do. And it’s been dirty business long before Trump,” Saini said.