In a discussion about the development of a Covid-19 vaccine on Wednesday’s episode of The View, co-host Joy Behar voiced her scepticism about the rush to make one available.
President Donald Trump has said that a vaccine could be available before the election in November — a claim thought wildly optimistic by medical professionals, and one which has raised worries about safety and efficacy.
“He will push anything to get re-elected. Don’t fall for it,” said Ms Behar. “And by the way, I will take the vaccine after Ivanka takes it.”
On Thursday, first daughter Ivanka Trump responded, calling the bluff of the TV host. She tweeted: “Deal @JoyVBehar. I would come on your show to do so.”
She added: “I trust the FDA and so should all Americans. Vanquishing this virus should be our collective top priority.”
Ms Behar is yet to respond, but Ivanka’s brother Donald Trump Jr chimed in, saying: “Call me, I’ll help you prep for the interview @IvankaTrump…Joy, Whoopi and the rest of The View ladies love me. 😉🤣”
Scepticism regarding the rush to a vaccine is two-fold.
The first is the worry that the Food & Drug Administration may be subject to political interference and could be pushed to rush a vaccine to market that has not been as thoroughly tested as it should be. This could be done through an emergency use authorisation.
The second source of doubt is that vaccines for other diseases have taken years or decades to develop.
The ability to rush out an effective and safe vaccine just 11 months from the identification of the novel coronavirus seems unlikely to many.
As Ms Behar pointed out on the show: “The mumps vaccine took four years, the polio vaccine took 20 years, and the smallpox vaccine took a few centuries. It was developed initially in 1796 … and it became useful in the 1950s. OK? It’s not a simple thing to do.”
In August, Dr Anthony Fauci cautioned against the approval of a Covid-19 vaccine before it was proven to be safe and effective.
The president has called caution about a possible vaccine “fake political rhetoric”.