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Trump hoping for a vaccine by Election Day — but doctors say that’s impossible

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Don’t expect a coronavirus vaccine by Election Day, no matter what President Donald Trump promises.

Moderna was the first company to begin Phase 3 clinical trials in the U.S. and hopes to enroll 30,000 subjects by September, but so far has signed up only 4,536 and opened up just 54 of 89 study sites, reported CNN.

The company won’t hit its goal for next month if that pace continues, but infectious disease experts say Moderna still won’t have a vaccine ready for the market in time for the Nov. 3 election.

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“I don’t see how that would be possible,” said Dr. Paul Offit, a vaccinologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

“There’s no way,” agreed Dr. Peter Hotez, a vaccinologist at Baylor College of Medicine. “There’s just no way.”

Once the company enrolls subjects and injects them with their first shot, they must then wait 28 days for a second shot, which means participants who enroll at the end of September wouldn’t get their second shots until the end of October — and then wait another two weeks for the vaccine to become fully effective.

“That takes you past Election Day,” Offit said.

Researchers must then wait and see whether any participants get sick with COVID-19.

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Both Offit and Hotez predicted results from Moderna’s study wouldn’t be available until the first quarter of 2021, at the earliest, and they also splashed cold water on a timetable from Pfizer, which began Phase 2/3 of its own study on July 27.

Pfizer hopes to know by the end of September or early October whether its vaccine worked, after dosing more than 2,000 by the end of last week, but Offit and Hotez pointed out that study must also wait for its second dose to determine whether it was effective.

“Maybe by Inauguration Day we might have a glimmer of whether the vaccine is working and be able to assess its safety,” Hotez said.

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2020 Election

Outrage against Dianne Feinstein as potential Judiciary chair comes out against Senate reform

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) received harsh criticism on Monday after coming out against Senate reform of the filibuster.

“I don't believe in doing that. I think the filibuster serves a purpose," Feinstein argued.

"It is not often used, it's often less used now than when I first came, and I think it's part of the Senate that differentiates itself," Feinstein falsely claimed.

https://twitter.com/sahilkapur/status/1308169580658012160

Feinstein is in line to chair the Senate Judiciary Committee if Democrats regain the Senate, despite never attending law school or having ever tried a case.

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2020 Election

Lindsey Graham announces embattled Sen. Joni Ernst will vote for whomever Trump nominates to replace RBG

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The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday announced that GOP members of the body would be united in voting for whomever President Donald Trump nominates to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The nominee’s going to be supported by every Republican in the Judiciary Committee," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said, as reported by The Washington Post's Aaron Blake.

https://twitter.com/AaronBlake/status/1308223330357518336

If Graham is correct, that would mean that Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) would be backing the nomination, despite trailing Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield.

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2020 Election

A Never-Trump Republican changed her mind — then crumbled when she tried to explain why

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In a recent op-ed for the Washington Post, Republican Danielle Pletka declared that despite the fact that she refused to vote for Donald Trump in 2016, she now feels compelled to support him in 2020. The piece quickly caught fire online, inspiring ridicule and sympathy from differing corners and triggering a surprising amount of discussion.

In one sense, it’s hard to see what the big deal was. The Post publishes opinion pieces in support of Trump frequently, and this one was not particularly special. Pletka herself is not a particularly notable figure. Like many op-eds, it was sloppy and unpersuasive, making huge leaps of reasoning and glossing over critical points in the argument. It didn’t take seriously any compelling counterarguments. It was, in other words, a mere display of partisan loyalty from a Republican who would prefer to be inside the tent than outside of it.

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