Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, was accused on Saturday of promoting a conspiracy theory about President Donald Trump and any forthcoming coronavirus vaccine.
What did Harris say?
Speaking with CNN host Dana Bash, the California Democrat suggested she would not receive the COVID-19 vaccine if it were released before the election.
Her reasoning? Harris suggested that Trump would "sideline" science and use the vaccine to manipulate the outcome of the election.
Bash asked, "Let's just say there is a vaccine that is approved and even distributed before the election. Would you get it?"
Harris responded, "Well, I think that's gonna be an issue for all of us. 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."
Earlier, Harris had said of scientists, "[T]hey'll be muzzled, they'll be suppressed, they will be sidelined, because [Trump is] looking at an election coming up in less than 60 days, and he's grasping for whatever he can get to pretend that he's been a leader on this issue when he's not."
BASH: "Let’s just say there’s a vaccine that is approved and even distributed before the election. Would you get it… https://t.co/FvR23JQ02O— State of the Union (@State of the Union)1599322925.0
What was the response?
Harris was accused of promoting a "dangerous conspiracy theory" and "anti-vaxxer" talking points.
- "And here is Kamala Harris spreading a dangerous conspiracy theory about a potential coronavirus vaccine," one person responded.
- "This might be the most dangerous and reckless thing Kamala has done yet and deserves to be widely condemned. Lots of people expressed concern over polls showing Americans might not take a vaccine. Well now the Dems VP candidate is trying to add to that," another person said.
- "Kamala believes Jussie Smollett and not the FDA and the scientists," one person mocked. They continued, "I mean, it actually makes sense. Kamala believes the Fine People Hoax, the Drink Bleach Hoax, and the Atlantic Hoax — now she refuses to believe scientists. She's like one year away from selling healing crystals and essential oils on Facebook."
- "The President isn't actually MAKING the vaccine himself. So Kamala doesn't trust government, the CDC or Bill Gates (one of her party's biggest donors) Revelatory," another person responded.
- "There are going to be Americans who refuse to get the coronavirus vaccine because Joe Biden and Kamala Harris convinced them not to," another person said.
- "Simultaneously trust Fauci on lockdowns but not if he tells you to take a vaccine," another person responded.
- "The vice presidential candidate becoming an anti-vaxxer is a sad but unsurprising development. It's anti-science bull***t like this which will get people killed, period," another person said.
Is Trump 'muzzling' the experts?
Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top member of the White House coronavirus task force, rebuked allegations that Trump has "muzzled" scientists during the pandemic.
"Let me clarify it. I have never been muzzled — never — and I've been doing this since the administration of Ronald Reagan. I'm not being muzzled by this administration," Fauci said earlier this year.