Sanders Rips Trump's Push to Rush COVID Vaccine
By Jake Johnson
After President Donald Trump on Monday suggested a COVID-19 vaccine could be fully developed and put to market "before a very special day" — apparently referring to the Nov. 3 presidential election — Sen. Bernie Sanders warned that Trump's ongoing politicization of the vaccine process threatens to undermine public trust and safety.
"I think you got a president who's losing it, and I think most people are sick and tired of the ranting and the ravings of Donald Trump," the Vermont senator said in an appearance on CNN late Monday. "Look, everybody wants a vaccine, but we want to make sure that that vaccine is safe. We don't want to see that vaccine put on the market for political reasons."
Sanders went on to urge doctors, scientists, and pharmaceutical companies to "do the right thing and get it onto the market, get it into people's arms when it is ready, not when it suits the political purposes of this increasingly irrational president."
"Let's not politicize this thing. We have developed vaccines for decade after decade after decade. We have to give the resources to the doctors and the scientists to do their work," Sanders said. "We've got to make sure that vaccine undergoes the clinical trials that [are] necessary to make sure that it is safe."
“Let's not politicize this thing,” Sen. Bernie Sanders says about the coronavirus vaccine. “We have developed vaccines for decade after decade after decade. We have to give the resources to the doctors and the scientists to do their work." https://t.co/GqSF5xfRbd pic.twitter.com/jwJVMQo12i— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) September 7, 2020
The Vermont senator's remarks came hours after Trump claimed during a Labor Day press conference Monday that "we're going to have a vaccine very soon, maybe even before a very special day."
Asked whether he's pushing for speedy approval of a coronavirus vaccine for political gain, Trump said: "No, I'm saying that because we want to save a lot of lives. With me, it's the faster the better. With somebody else, maybe they would say it politically but I'm saying it in terms of this is what we need."
"Now," Trump continued, "do benefits inure if you're able to get something years ahead of schedule? I guess maybe they do."
"The faster, the better" -- Trump on a coronavirus vaccine pic.twitter.com/Lc83qixbp3— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 7, 2020
Federal officials have repeatedly cast doubt on the president's suggested timeline, saying there's little chance that a sufficiently tested vaccine will be ready ahead of the November election.
"I don't know any scientist involved in this effort who thinks we will be getting shots into arms any time before Election Day," one anonymous federal official familiar with Operation Warp Speed told CNN Monday, echoing the public statements of other officials involved with the vaccine development effort.
Reposted with permission from Common Dreams.
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Four years ago, Jacob Abel cast his first presidential vote for Donald Trump. As a young conservative from Concord, North Carolina, the choice felt natural.
But this November, he plans to cast a "protest vote" for a write-in candidate or abstain from casting a ballot for president. A determining factor in his 180-degree turn? Climate change.
Fractures Among Young Climate Conservatives<p>While young conservatives have united around the urgency of climate change, they remain divided over how to bring their concerns to the ballot box. Some embrace right-wing <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-attacks-republican-convention/2020/08/24/434e5b46-e66d-11ea-970a-64c73a1c2392_story.html" target="_blank">attacks</a> painting Biden as a "tool of the left" and find his climate agenda "radical." Others can't find a way to justify voting for Trump, even if it means breaking with their party.</p><p>Patrick Mann from Orange County, California, voted for Trump in 2016. But today, he's leading Aggies for Joe at Texas A&M University and is co-founder of Texas Students for Biden. </p><p>Mann grew up watching wildfires ravage his home state, nearly forcing his family to evacuate in 2017. The GOP is failing to "meet the moment" for climate action, Mann said. He's hoping Biden will deliver on a promise to "<a href="https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/caucus/2020/01/06/joe-biden-democrat-president-iowa-caucus-restore-soul-our-nation/2806422001/" target="_blank">restore the soul of our nation</a>." </p><p>Taylor Walker from Pensacola, Florida, is also determined to make her voice heard on climate, including by casting her first-ever vote for president—but not for Biden.</p>
A False Equivalency<p>Young climate conservatives may fear climate denial and delayed climate action, but more than that, they fear the growing political momentum around the Green New Deal, the massive spending it entails and <a href="https://joebiden.com/climate-plan/" target="_blank">Biden's citing of it</a> as a "crucial framing for meeting the climate challenges we face."</p><p>Many don't want to split with their party to support a Democrat whose <a href="https://www.npr.org/2019/09/03/757220130/joe-biden-on-bipartisanship-gun-control-and-regrets-over-inaction-after-a-traged" target="_blank">allegedly bipartisan intentions</a> they doubt. If stymieing what they consider a radical green agenda means re-electing a climate change denying president, so be it. </p><p>"I'm scared of climate change, but I'm also scared of the Green New Deal and what it means for America," said Ben Mutolo, a republicEN spokesperson and junior at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. </p><p>Mutolo felt encouraged by former Ohio Governor John Kasich's <a href="https://www.rollcall.com/2020/08/17/kasich-speech-to-democratic-convention-follows-years-of-building-conservative-credentials/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">appearance</a> at the Democratic National Convention, but he still struggles to see himself voting for Biden. Though the candidate paints himself as a <a href="https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2020-08-12/harris-biden-different-generation-similar-political-instinct" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">centrist,</a> Mutolo believes he's "cozying up to the ultra-progressive left." </p><p>Mutolo, who wants to see market-based climate solutions like a carbon tax, feels torn between a candidate whose climate plan relies on taking an "<a href="https://joebiden.com/environmental-justice-plan/#" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">All-of-Government approach</a>," and one with no efforts to reign in global warming at all. <span></span></p><p>Leiserowitz said he appreciated how a conservative might feel Biden's climate plan "doesn't jive with their limited government, free-market approach."</p><p>But he sees a strong distinction between voting for a presidential candidate with a <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/14/us/politics/biden-climate-plan.html" target="_blank">$2 trillion climate plan</a> that includes large renewable energy investments, which have <a href="https://climatecommunication.yale.edu/publications/politics-global-warming-april-2020/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">bipartisan support</a>, and a candidate trying "to take the country in the opposite direction, towards more fossil fuels."</p>
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