In the face of widespread conspiracy theories and misinformation regarding the coronavirus vaccine that's currently in development, federal health officials have launched a public campaign this week to help reassure Americans that when a vaccine for the virus becomes available, it will be safe and effective.
But as the Washington Post points out, President Trump immediately politicized the effort by saying Thursday that a vaccine might be available “right around” Election Day.
The FDA's efforts to convince the public the agency will make sound, data-driven decisions "have been complicated by the White House’s politicization of health and science issues, from the wearing of face masks and school reopenings to its advocacy of unproven treatments such as hydroxychloroquine," the Post reports.
Bioethicists speaking to the Post say that while the government's efforts to strengthen public confidence in a vaccine is the right strategy, the administration’s top scientists and regulators need to go further.
“You can’t have too many voices checking this decision — either to go or not go — given the crucial role that vaccines are going to play, given the political stakes and given the rising distrust of vaccination,” said Arthur Caplan, director of the division of medical ethics at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine. “It’s people worrying they’re going too fast, saying, ‘I don’t trust Trump, I don’t trust this whole process.’ There’s a huge number of people that are just not going to accept whatever FDA says as adequate."
Read the full report over at The Washington Post.