Former Vice President Joe Biden welcomed new about advances toward a coronavirus vaccine Monday but said that it would be “many more months” before it was widely available, and warned Americans to continue wearing masks.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla tells @drsanjaygupta, "The vaccine will be available for free to all American citizens."
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) November 9, 2020
President Donald Trump, who has championed the development of vaccines, was exultant:
STOCK MARKET UP BIG, VACCINE COMING SOON. REPORT 90% EFFECTIVE. SUCH GREAT NEWS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2020
However, his rival, whom media networks have declared the next president-elect while vote counts and challenges are ongoing, greeted the news with caution.
INBOX: @JoeBiden on Pfizer vaccine progress: “I congratulate the brilliant women and men who helped produce this breakthrough and to give us such cause for hope.”
But adds the battle against COVID is still ongoing, encourages mask wearing/social distancing pic.twitter.com/g1G6gvtFhq
— Johnny Verhovek (@JTHVerhovek) November 9, 2020
In a statement, Biden said:
Last night, my public health advisors were informed of this excellent news. I congratulate the brilliant men and women who helped produce this breakthrough and to give us such cause for hope.
At the same time, it is also important to understand that the end of the battle against COVID-19 is still months away. This news follows a previously announced timeline by industry officials that forecast vaccine approval by late November. Even if that is achieved, and some Americans are vaccinated later this year, it will be many more months before there is widespread vaccination in this country.
This is why the head of the CDC warned this fall that for the foreseeable future, a mask remains a more potent weapon against the virus than the vaccine. Today’s news does not change this urgent reality. Americans will have to rely on masking, distancing, contact tracing, hand washing, and other measures to keep themselves safe well into next year. Today’s news is great news, but it doesn’t change that fact.
America is still losing over 1,000 people a day from COVID-19, and that number is rising — and will continue to get worse unless we make progress on masking and other immediate actions. That is the reality for now, and for the next few months. Today’s announcement promises the chance to change that next year, but the tasks before us now remain the same.
Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), said throughout the campaign that people should be skeptical of any vaccine that President Trump supported, adding that they would take a vaccine that had been independently approved.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.