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EXCLUSIVE-Fauci says regulators promise politics will not guide vaccine timing

Credit: REUTERS/POOL

U.S. regulators have assured scientists that political pressure will not determine when a coronavirus vaccine is approved even as the White House hopes to have one ready ahead of the November presidential election, infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said on Wednesday.

By Jeff Mason and Michael Erman

WASHINGTON, Aug 5 (Reuters) - U.S. regulators have assured scientists that political pressure will not determine when a coronavirus vaccine is approved even as the White House hopes to have one ready ahead of the November presidential election, infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said on Wednesday.

"We have assurances, and I've discussed this with the regulatory authorities, that they promise that they are not going to let political considerations interfere with a regulatory decision," Fauci told Reuters in an interview.

"We've spoken explicitly about that, because the subject obviously comes up, and the people in charge of the regulatory process assure us that safety and efficacy is going to be the prime consideration," he said.

President Donald Trump, a Republican, is behind Democrat Joe Biden in public opinion polls ahead of the Nov. 3 election. Trump has lost ground in part due to voter concerns over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

A vaccine announcement in October could help his chances in the Nov. 3 presidential election.

REUTERS INTERVIEW-Anthony Faucihttps://youtu.be/Glq3yQECfSY

(Reporting by Jeff Mason from Washington and Michael Erman; Editing by Howard Goller)

((jeff.mason@thomsonreuters.com; On Twitter: @jeffmason1))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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