WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Senator Chuck Schumer cautioned the president about the reckless way he’s dealing with international organizations such as the WHO, noting that other countries may develop coronavirus vaccines first.
- He also said that the last thing the U.S would not want to do right now is to be not part of international efforts to develop a vaccine.
- The senator also criticized Trump for not following recommendations by his administration’s top science experts.
Should the United States get behind on the development of COVID-19, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer warned that President Donald Trump’s censure of international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) could leave the country in want if other nations have the vaccine first.
“When he pulls out of the cooperation of the nations of the world in creating a vaccine it hurts us,” Schumer told Morning Joe Tuesday. “If another country comes up with that vaccine ahead of us, God bless them, but we would want to have the benefits of that. But him not being part of that consortium hurts us. And this is the kind of whimsical, erratic and untruthful behavior that Donald Trump exhibits almost every day when it comes to this crisis.”
The senator lambasted Trump for his comment on Monday about trying hydroxychloroquine to combat coronavirus.
During an MSNBC interview with host Joe Scarborough on Tuesday, Schumer also urged the president to heed the advice of medical experts and not just remark based on his ego. Both also voice their concern over Trump’s memo ordering the concerned U.S departments to suspend contributions to the WHO.
The president’s mockery over China’s health officials is also hindering a concerted worldwide effort to develop a vaccine to put an end to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Schumer further elaborated that other countries can possibly develop the vaccine first, noting that Trump’s irresponsible remarks against international organizations such as WHO will hurt the U.S.
While Schumer agreed with Scarborough’s optimism over the U.S’ 18-month timeline by the president, he cautioned that rushing the vaccine development can result in unwanted side effects.
The two agreed that international efforts to finding the COVID-19 vaccine are exceptional.
The MSNBC host also said that all scientists and all pharmaceutical corporations are working hand in hand to have a breakthrough against the pandemic, noting that this would have been the best time for the U.S to be part of an international coalition.
Other than the WHO and other international groups, Trump has been bluntly criticized for his repeated offensive remarks against public health authorities and even questioning experts within the government.
Rick Bright, a virologist, previously working for the government, claimed he was fired because he was against Trump’s opinion on the use of hydroxychloroquine, adding that scholars researching for the vaccine should be immuned from the president’s unpredictable demands.
Schumer confirmed the lower House has allotted a large chunk of budget to The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), an agency under the Health and Human Services department, and urged Trump to avoid advertising clinically unconfirmed drugs such as hydroxychloroquine.
Schumer advised that Trump should listen to the scientists and not rush the process of developing a vaccine. While the senator says moving fast is essential amidst the pandemic, every action should be based on science. He also noted that taking short cuts in vaccine development could lead to dire consequences.