US President Donald Trump's claims that a COVID-19 vaccine could be available by the end of October has come under fire again. This time, it is Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of the medical journal, The Lancet, who called Trump's statements "simply wrong".
Appearing in an interview on CNN via Skype, Horton stated that the possibility of a vaccine being widely available to the public by the end of October was far from likely and that the President was wrong about it. "President Trump is simply wrong about that. I have no understanding why he is saying it. Because his advisers will surely be telling him that that's just impossible," Horton said.
President Simply Wrong: Lancet Editor
Addressing the press on Friday, Trump said that a vaccine would be available "before the end of the year and maybe even before November 1. I think we can probably have it sometime in October."
Horton spoke about the perils of the president's claims. He said, "If we make a mistake and licence a vaccine too early - just think - we have already got a growing anti-vaccine movement, which is extremely disturbing. We can't cut corners. There will not be a vaccine available for public use by the end of October."
Commenting on the COVD-19 vaccine produced by Russia, Horton said that the results were "encouraging". However, he added, that it would be "highly premature to think that this is the basis for a successful vaccine for public use." This was because of the study comprising only of a small group of volunteers.
Criticisms against Trump's Claims
The Lancet's editor is the latest to join the list of individuals criticizing Trump's assertions. Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, launched a salvo against Trump on Saturday. Harris said that she would not place her trust in the president's affirmations about the safety of any COVID-19 vaccine that is approved for treatment in America prior to the Presidential election in November this year.
Harris told CNN, "I will say that I would not trust Donald Trump and it would have to be a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and the reliability of whatever he's talking about. I will not take his word for it."
(With inputs from agencies)