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A COVID-19 vaccine must be developed and distributed transparently by scientists and not politicians, Democratic presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenCoons beats back progressive Senate primary challenger in Delaware Biden courts veterans amid fallout from Trump military controversies Biden campaign manager touts 'multiple pathways' to victory MORE said Wednesday.

Biden accused President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't think he could've done more to stop virus spread Conservative activist Lauren Witzke wins GOP Senate primary in Delaware Trump defends claim coronavirus will disappear, citing 'herd mentality' MORE of politicizing the vaccine approval process, and said only experts should be in charge of the distribution of a vaccine.

"I trust vaccines, I trust scientists, but I don't trust Donald Trump," Biden said. "At this moment the American people can't either."

Biden spoke at a press conference in Delaware after receiving a briefing from medical and public health experts about COVID vaccines. 

Biden said the White House needs to give the American people "honest answers" about the vaccine development process, including who determines safety and effectiveness, and how the government will ensure distribution of the vaccine will be fair.

Biden said he is "more hopeful than ever" in the power of science to develop a vaccine, but "we cannot allow politics to interfere with a vaccine in any way."

President Trump has repeatedly promised that a vaccine will be ready in a matter of weeks, even before the November election. 

Biden said those kinds of statements are why people shouldn't trust Trump, as they contradict what scientists say.

"Scientific breakthroughs don’t care about calendars any more than the virus does. They certainly don’t adhere to election cycles," Biden said. 

Biden's comments come on the same day the Trump administration outlined its initial plan for distributing a vaccine across the country as soon as one is authorized. 

The goal is to distribute a vaccine at no upfront cost to providers, and to ensure the American public can get a shot without paying anything out of pocket.

Biden's comments also come as public distrust in the vaccine approval process is growing. 

A recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found 62 percent of Americans said they worry the Food and Drug Administration would rush a vaccine without making sure it is safe and effective.

If Americans don't trust the people who tell them a vaccine is safe, they will be less likely to accept it, prolonging a pandemic that might otherwise be brought under control. 

Trump administration health officials have been working hard to show the public the vaccine process is insulated from political interference, and top medical experts like Anthony FauciAnthony FauciTrump defends claim coronavirus will disappear, citing 'herd mentality' Schumer calls for Azar to resign over 'chaos' in coronavirus response Trump says he read 'boring' Woodward book 'very quickly' MORE have spoken up about the issue.

Some Republicans have accused Biden of fear mongering and of being anti-vaccine, saying his questioning of the vaccine process is only adding to the public's unease.

Biden said he will trust what scientists have to say, whereas Trump has no respect for science or scientists.

"This is the same guy who said, inject bleach," Biden said. "This is the guy who said, if you want to get rid of hurricanes … drop a nuclear bomb on them."

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Trump says he may not OK stricter FDA standards for vaccine approval

Washington — President Trump on Wednesday suggested he may not approve more stringent standards for issuing an emergency use authorization for a coronavirus vaccine from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

"We're looking at that and that has to be approved by the White House," Mr. Trump told reporters during a press briefing at the White House. "We may or may not approve it."

The Washington Post reported this week the FDA is issuing new, more rigorous guidance for an emergency use authorization of a coronavirus vaccine, which would make it more difficult for a vaccine to be ready by Election Day.

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The president has repeatedly suggested a vaccine would arrive before November 3, though top public health officials have thrown cold water on Mr. Trump's speedy timeline, warning a coronavirus vaccine likely will not be ready for distribution to the general population until well into 2021.

Mr. Trump told reporters the tightened standards from the FDA "sounds like a political move," and cited the pharmaceutical companies — Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna — that are developing coronavirus vaccines and have begun final-stage testing.

The president said delaying a vaccine by "two or three weeks" would cost lives.

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The FDA declined to comment.

Through its initiative Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration has prioritized swift development and distribution of a coronavirus vaccine, setting a goal of delivering hundreds of millions of doses by January 2021. Four vaccine candidates are in the final stage of testing in the U.S. 

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