’Why didn’t Putin take it?’: Biomedical doctor explains why Russia’s vaccine ‘is a dangerous thing for them to do’
(AFP / Attila KISBENEDEK)

Russian President Vladimir Putin bragged that his country has come up with the first coronavirus vaccine and that he has tested it on his daughter, who evidently was diagnosed with the deadly disease. It was eventually revealed that the vaccine is only in the first phase of testing, which is behind where other vaccines are in the testing phases.


Speaking to MSNBC's Joshua Johnson, Dr. William Haseltine, an infectious diseases expert who founded two research departments on HIV/AIDS and cancer, questioned the viability of the so-called Russian vaccine.

"First, my comment on the Russian vaccine, they call it Sputnik 5, which is harkening back to their first satellite," said the doctor. "I would recall it Afghanistan 2, remembering their deadly foray into the Middle East. This is a dangerous thing for them to do for their people and the rest of the world. I would rather have seen Putin take it than give it to his daughter, for example. Why didn't he take it, if he thinks it's so safe? We don't know, and they can't know that it's safe and effective.

He said that's why he's concerned that President Donald Trump's "Operation Warp Speed" might also warp the process as it is rushed to give to Americans before it has truly been tested enough.

"We do not want to expose healthy people to a vaccine that we don't know is safe, because we haven't tested it in enough people, and we haven't tested it long enough," said Dr. Haseltine. "Do we want our own Afghanistan 2? I don't think so. Not with this vaccine. It might be safe, and it might be effective. We just don't know. And until, as Secretary of Health [Alex Azar] said, we've done the phase three trials, we have the data, you can't know, and we don't want our most precious asset, our young children and our older people, at risk for a vaccine that's neither known to be safe nor effective. There are many examples of vaccines that have gone awry, so we have to be careful. "

See his full comments below: