US Is Going It Alone

President Donald Trump speaks to the media yesterday prior to boarding Air Force One. Image: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty
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President Donald Trump speaks to the media yesterday prior to boarding Air Force One. Image: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty

The US will not join in the global effort to develop and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine, the Trump administration announced yesterday, saying it doesn’t want to be constrained by “corrupt” multilateral organizations influenced by the WHO and China, AP reports.
 
Critics say that rejecting WHO’s COVAX effort—designed to give countries access to a vaccine no matter who gets there first—could leave the US without a vaccine.
 
Does the US stand a chance on its own?
 
There is talk of the FDA greenlighting a vaccine as early as this fall—raising concern about the risks of doing so before Phase 3 clinical trial data are available, STAT reports.
 
Traditionally, that discretion to sidestep the FDA’s lengthier approval process is left to an independent data safety and monitoring board. 
 
The main thing, experts warn, is avoiding political interference in that process.

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