CBS NEWS – Two leading voices on health issues in the U.S. are expressing skepticism about Vladimir Putin’s claim that his country was the first to develop a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine.
The Russian president’s claim on Tuesday sparked immediate doubts about the science and safety behind the purported achievement.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Tuesday he hopes Moscow has “actually definitively proven that the vaccine is safe and effective. I seriously doubt that they’ve done that.”
Fauci added that the U.S. is working on “half a dozen or more vaccines. So if we wanted to take the chance of hurting a lot of people or giving them something that doesn’t work, we could start doing this, you know, next week if we wanted to. But that’s not the way it works.”
Fauci made the remarks during a keynote interview for Stopping Pandemics, an exclusive event due to air August 13 via National Geographic.
Separately, U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar said during a visit to Taiwan Wednesday that the push to develop a COVID-19 vaccine is “not a race to be first.”
Azar said the U.S. is combining the powers of its government, economy and biopharmaceutical industry to “deliver as quickly as we can for the benefit of the United States’ citizens, but also for the people of the world, safe and effective vaccines … ” READ MORE.