Vice President Mike Pence criticized Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris for saying she would take a vaccine if Dr. Anthony Fauci said to, but not if President Donald Trump encouraged it at the vice presidential debate on Wednesday.
PENCE: I would like to go back because the reality is that we're going to have a vaccine, Senator, in record time, in unheard of time, in less than a year. We have five companies in phase III clinical trials and we're right now producing tens of millions of doses. So the fact that you continue to undermine public confidence in a vaccine.
If the vaccine emerges during the Trump administration, I think is unconscionable. And senator, I just ask you, stop playing politics with people's lives. The reality is that we will have a vaccine we believe before the end of this year and it will have the capacity to save countless American lives and your continuous undermining of confidence in a vaccine is just--it's just unacceptable.
And let me also say, you know, the reality is when you talk about failure of this administration, we actually do know what failure looks like in a pandemic. It was 2009. The swine flu arrived in the United States. Thankfully, it was--ended up named--not being as lethal as the coronavirus.
But before the end of the year, when Joe Biden was vice president of the United States, not 7.5 million people contracted the swine flu, 60 million Americans contracted the swine flu. If that swine flu had been as lethal as the coronavirus in 2009 when Joe Biden was vice president, we would have lost 2 million American lives. His own chief of staff, Ron Klain, would say last year that it was pure luck that they did "Everything possible wrong," and we learned from that.
They left an empty and hollow plan, but we still learn from it, and I think the American people, I’m going to say again, can be proud of what we have done. And Senator, please stop undermining confidence in a vaccine.