AP fact checks Trump’s latest bogus claims about Biden win, vaccine

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is rebelling against Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential electionwith denial, delay and outright misrepresentation.

Trump raged about widespread cases of fake ballots that aren’t so and undertook legal challenges that even state GOP election officials say can’t overcome Biden’s lead. Over the weekend, he also misrepresented Georgia’s process for verifying signatures on absentee ballot envelopes.

Meanwhile, as the coronavirussurged nationwide, Trump said little about public safety measures. Instead he tried to take full credit for drugmaker Pfizer Inc.’s news that its COVID-19 vaccine may be 90% effective and suggested the mission was basically done.

His assertions on both matters are untrue.

A review of the past week’s claims:

VACCINE DISTRIBUTION

TRUMP, on Pfizer’s announcement: “As soon as April, the vaccine will be available to the entire general population with the exception of places like New York state where for political reasons the governor decided to say — and I don’t think it’s good politically, I think it’s very bad from a health standpoint — but he wants to take his time with a vaccine. … We can’t be delivering it to a state that won’t be giving it to its people immediately.” — remarks Friday.

TRUMP: “I LOVE NEW YORK! … The problem is, @NYGovCuomo said that he will delay using it, and other states WANT IT NOW… We cannot waste time and can only give to those states that will use the Vaccine immediately. Therefore the New York delay.” — tweet Saturday.

THE FACTS: That’s a misrepresentation. New York’s separate review doesn’t guarantee a protracted delay.

Trump is referring to a state panel of experts that Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., announced in September to review any coronavirus vaccine authorized by the Food and Drug Administration before it is to be distributed in the state.

That additional review doesn’t necessarily mean weeks of delay before New York residents can get a federally approved vaccine. As a practical matter, the FDA will have a public meeting where its independent advisers debate the data. That’s an opportunity for any interested group to get an early look.

21 PHOTOSPresident Trump in the days since the Nov. 3 electionSee GalleryPresident Trump in the days since the Nov. 3 electionUS President Donald Trump arrives for a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, on November 11, 2020. – US President Donald Trump made his first official post-election appearance Wednesday for what should be a moment of national unity to mark Veteran’s Day, now marred by his refusal to acknowledge Joe Biden’s win. The president visited Arlington National Cemetery, four days after US media projected his Democratic rival would take the White House. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)US President Donald Trump attends a “National Day of Observance” wreath laying ceremony on November 11, 2020 at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. – US President Donald Trump made his first official post-election appearance Wednesday for what should be a moment of national unity to mark Veteran’s Day, now marred by his refusal to acknowledge Joe Biden’s win. The president visited Arlington National Cemetery, four days after US media projected his Democratic rival would take the White House. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)President Donald Trump gives two thumbs up to supporters as he departs after playing golf at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling Va., Sunday Nov. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)President Donald Trump salutes as he participates in a Veterans Day wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)President Donald Trump plays a round of Golf at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling Va., Sunday Nov. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)President Donald Trump speaks at the White House, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)President Donald Trump waves to supporters as he departs after playing golf at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling Va., Sunday Nov. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)President Donald Trump speaks at the White House, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)President Donald Trump arrives at the White House after golfing Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)President Donald Trump walks away after speaking at the White House, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)President Donald Trump, center standing, as he participates in a round of golf at the Trump National Golf Course on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Sterling, Va. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)President Donald Trump leaves the podium after speaking at the White House, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)President Donald Trump participates in a round of golf at the Trump National Golf Course on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Sterling, Va. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House, early Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)STERLING, VA – NOVEMBER 07: U.S. President Donald Trump golfs at Trump National Golf Club, on November 7, 2020 in Sterling, Virginia. News outlets projected that Democratic nominee Joe Biden will be the 46th president of the United States after a victory in Pennsylvania. (Photo by Al Drago/Getty Images)President Donald Trump walks away after speaking at the White House, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)President Donald Trump speaks at the White House, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)President Donald Trump plays a round of Golf at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling Va., Sunday Nov. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)President Donald Trump speaks at the White House, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House, early Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)US President Donald Trump watches from the motorcade as he returns to the White House in Washington, DC, after playing golf on November 7, 2020. – Joyous celebrations erupted in Washington on Saturday after Joe Biden was declared winner of the US presidency, as several people poured into the streets of the US capital — some of them chanting, cheering and singing in front of the White House. (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN / AFP) (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)Up Next

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Cuomo said Saturday that as soon as the FDA acts, the state review group would, too.

“It’s not that these panels are going to do tests; they are just going to review what FDA did, so it’s just a review on the FDA process,” Cuomo told reporters. “We are ready now to receive the vaccine and then, simultaneous with the FDA approval, our panel will be looking at it. So, there’s no delay.”

“Send me a vaccine today; I will distribute it this afternoon,” he said.

There is some uncertainty around how the state-level reviews will ultimately work. Cuomo explained one purpose of the panel is to “develop confidence in people” to take the vaccine, also telling CNN on Friday the only issue could be if the review group in New York finds a problem. But he notes that: “I don’t think the FDA is going to play any games at this point.”

A handful of other states, including California, have also said they would conduct separate safety reviews.

California’s plan is to review data quickly so there is no delay in distribution, said Dr. Arthur Reingold, the group’s chair. He said the state’s review group — which has been joined by Nevada, Oregon and Washington — has trust in the federal review process, but that its work is intended to provide additional reassurance to people.

“Any assertion that our citizens will be delayed in receiving a safe and effective COVID vaccine is simply not borne out by the plans we have in place,” said Reingold, a professor of epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley.

ELECTION

GEORGIA

TRUMP: “The Consent Decree signed by the Georgia Secretary of State, with the approval of Governor @BrianKempGA, at the urging of @staceyabrams, makes it impossible to check & match signatures on ballots and envelopes, etc. They knew they were going to cheat. Must expose real signatures!” — tweet Saturday.

THE FACTS: There is nothing in the consent decree that prevents Georgia election clerks from scrutinizing signatures. The legal settlement signed in March addresses accusations about a lack of statewide standards for judging signatures on absentee ballot envelopes.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, said that not only is it entirely possible to match signatures, but that the state requires it.

When a voter requests an absentee ballot on a paper application, he or she must sign it. Election officials compare that signature to the signature in voter registration files before a ballot is sent to the voter, Raffensperger said.

When those ballots are returned, the required signature on the outer envelope is compared to signatures in the voter registration system.

This process was spelled out in detail in the consent decree, a legal settlement that was signed March 6.

A lawsuit by the Democratic Party, which led to the agreement, argued that minorities were disproportionately affected when they had their ballots rejected. Among other things, the settlement sets steps for local election officials to notify a voter — by phone, mail or email — in a timely fashion about problems with a signature.

The changes were made by the state election board.

Following state law, Georgia is pursuing a hand tally of votes in the presidential race. Democrat Joe Biden leads Trump by about 14,000 votes in the state. There are no examples of similar recounts that have overturned leads of that magnitude.

The signature issue resurfaced after lawyer L. Lin Wood Jr. filed a federal lawsuit Friday questioning whether the secretary of state had the authority to require the process of signature verification outlined in the agreement.

Wood is known for representing several high-profile clients including security guard Richard Jewell, who was identified as a suspect of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta but later cleared.

TRUMP: “Georgia will be a big presidential win, as it was the night of the Election!” — tweet Nov. 9.

THE FACTS: Georgia wasn’t a win for Trump on election night. It still isn’t. He’s falsely suggesting that any ballot counted after Nov. 3 in Georgia and other states must be illegitimate and illegal. In fact, such counting is explicitly allowed in about 20 states, and the Supreme Court did not stand in the way of it.

Trump refused to concede and said he will press his legal challenges, despite seeing several lawsuits dismissed by courts.

Studies have repeatedly shown that voter fraud is exceptionally rare. Currently Biden leads Trump in Georgia by 14,000 votes.

The state’s top election official, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, has repeatedly assured the public there were no widespread problems.

“Was there illegal voting? I’m sure there was, and my office is investigating all of it,” Raffensperger said. “Does it rise to the numbers or margin necessary to change the outcome to where President Trump is given Georgia’s electoral votes? That is unlikely.”

Raffensperger has rejected the demands of Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler — who face January runoffs that will decide control of the Senate — that he resign over what they say are “too many failures in Georgia elections this year.” He announced an audit of presidential election results that will trigger a full hand tally in the state.

23 PHOTOSElection Day 2020See GalleryElection Day 2020WASHINGTON, D.C., USA – NOVEMBER 3, 2020: A tent of supporters of Initiative Measure No. 81 Entheogenic Plant and Fungus Policy Act of 2020 by the Washington Monument on Election Day. On November 3, 2020, the United States elects its president and vice president, 35 Senators, all 435 members of the House of Representatives, 13 governors of 11 states and two US territories, as well as state and local government officials. Incumbent Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden are running for president. Yegor Aleyev/TASS (Photo by Yegor Aleyev\TASS via Getty Images)Voters cast their ballots at Cypress Fairbanks Funeral Home in Houston on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. The funeral home was one of a few that were used in Harris County for polling locations.(Elizabeth Conley/Houston Chronicle via AP)Matthew, left, and Parker, right, who declined to give their last names, wear “Don’t Tread On Me” flags while they have a beer at Gasoline Alley on Election Day in downtown Colorado Springs, Colo., on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. (Chancey Bush/The Gazette via AP)President Donald Trump supporter Loretta Oakes reacts while watching returns in favor of Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, at a Republican election-night watch party, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)Caution tape closes off a voting stall to help distance voters to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus during Election Day at the East End School, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Portland, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. 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(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)DETROIT, MI – NOVEMBER 04: A worker with the Detroit Department of Elections inspects an absentee ballot at the Central Counting Board in the TCF Center on November 4, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. After a record-breaking early voting turnout, Americans head to the polls on the last day to cast their vote for incumbent U.S. President Donald Trump or Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.(Photo by Elaine Cromie/Getty Images)WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 03: A poster of the late Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is seen posted on the barrier erected between the White House and Black Lives Matter Plaza on Election Day, November 3, 2020 in Washington, DC. This year’s historic presidential election between President Donald Trump, the incumbent, and Democratic nominee Joe Biden begins to come to a close even though final results are not expected for days to come as states take longer to count historic levels of mail-in ballots. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)Supporters pose with U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, center, following his victory speech after winning another term in office on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)Republican Senate candidate Sen. Mitch McConnell, second from right, and his wife, Elaine Chao, right, look on as aides show him the election results in Louisville, Ky., Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., left, celebrates defeating Democrat Mike Espy in two separate races with her husband, Mike Smith, center and daughter Anna-Michael Smith, right, standing in the background at her reelection victory party in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. In addition to defeating Espy, Hyde-Smith also defeated Libertarian Jimmy Edwards. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)Republican Senate candidate Sen. Joni Ernst speaks to supporters at an election night rally, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)Supporters of President Donald Trump cheer while watching election results at a watch party in Shelby Township, Mich., Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/David Goldman)President Trump supporters wave a flag during an election watch party, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Chandler, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to supporters Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Wilmington, Del., as his wife Jill Biden looks on.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, addresses supporters just after midnight on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Bangor, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)Poll workers sort out early and absentee ballots at the Kenosha Municipal building on Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)A man yells at a police officer during a protest on Election Day, late Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. 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His assurances of a smoothly run election were broadly affirmed Thursday by a coalition of federal and state officials, who described the voting nationwide as the “most secure in U.S. history.”

“While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too,” said the Homeland Security Department’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which spearheaded federal election protection efforts. “When you have questions, turn to elections officials as trusted voices as they administer elections.”

PENNSYLVANIA

TRUMP: “Pennsylvania … wouldn’t let our Poll Watchers & Observers into counting rooms. Illegal!” — tweet Thursday.

TRUMP: “Pennsylvania prevented us from watching much of the Ballot count. Unthinkable and illegal in this country.” — tweet Nov. 9.

THE FACTS: His assertion is false.

Trump is wholly misrepresenting a court case in the state and what happened at voting places. No one tried to ban poll watchers representing each side in the election. Democrats did not try to stop Republican representatives from being able to observe the process.

The main issue in the case was how close observers representing the parties could get to election workers who were processing mail-in ballots in Philadelphia. Trump’s representatives sued to allow the observers to get closer than the guidelines had allowed. A court ruled in favor of that request.

The counting in Philadelphia was being livestreamed and Trump’s lawyers admitted in court that their campaign had observers in the room — “a nonzero” number of them, as they put it.

It was well-known that huge numbers of mailed-in ballots as well as in-person ballots were to be counted after Election Day and that many would be from Democratic-leaning areas. Poll watchers have no role in counting votes.

CALIFORNIA

TRUMP, tweeting a videowidely shared on social media pointing to alleged voter fraud in California: “You are looking at BALLOTS! Is this what our Country has come to?” — tweet Wednesday.

THE FACTS: Trump’s suggestion of voting fraud or impropriety is a gross distortion. The video, which shows two men collecting ballots from collection boxes the day after the election, does not show evidence of anything nefarious.

Mike Sanchez, speaking for the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder County Clerk’s office, which oversees elections for the county, told The Associated Press that the two men were staff from his office carrying out a scheduled pickup.

“All vote by mail ballot drop boxes were closed and locked at 8 p.m. on Election Day.” Sanchez said. “Ballots from all boxes throughout the county were picked up the following day.” He said: “The ballots are valid ballots and will be processed and counted.”

The video was shared on various social media sites, including on TikTok with the caption, “The cheating is unreal!!!” A post on Instagram with over 500,000 views shared the video with the caption, “The lies, the cheating, the hypocrisy must be exposed.”

Under California law, voters can submit vote-by-mail ballots as late as Election Day. Election officials must count those ballots as long as they have a Nov. 3 postmark and arrive within 17 days of the election.

TRUMP: “WATCH FOR MASSIVE BALLOT COUNTING ABUSE.” — tweet Tuesday.

TRUMP: “WE WILL WIN!” — tweet Tuesday.

THE FACTS: He’s making unsubstantiated claims. There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. In fact, election officials from both political parties have stated publicly that the election went well and international observers confirmed there were no serious irregularities.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which led federal election protection efforts, said Thursday it had no evidence that any voting system had deleted or lost votes, had changed votes, or was in any way compromised. The officials said all of the states with close results have paper records, which allows for the recounting of each ballot, if necessary, and for “the identification and correction of any mistakes or errors.”

“America, we have confidence in the security of your vote, you should, too,” tweeted Chris Krebs, the agency’s director.

The issues Trump’s campaign and its allies have pointed to are typical in every election: problems with signatures, secrecy envelopes and postal marks on mail-in ballots, as well as the potential for a small number of ballots miscast or lost. With Biden leading Trump by wide margins in battleground states, none of those issues would have any impact on the outcome of the election.

Trump’s campaign has also launched legal challenges complaining that its poll watchers were unable to scrutinize the voting process. Many of those challenges have been tossed out by judges, some within hours of their filing, and none of the complaints shows any evidence that the outcome of the election was affected.

MORE ON VACCINE

TRUMP: “As a result of Operation Warp Speed, Pfizer announced on Monday (Nov. 9) that its ‘China virus’ vaccine was more than 90% effective.” — remarks Friday.

TRUMP, quoting his former White House physician: “’Only because of President Trump, we are going to have a Vaccine by the end of the year.’ Ronny Jackson, Texas Congressman-Elect.” — tweet Tuesday.

VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: “HUGE NEWS: Thanks to the public-private partnership forged by President @realDonaldTrump, @pfizer announced its Coronavirus Vaccine trial is EFFECTIVE, preventing infection in 90% of its volunteers.” — tweet Nov. 9.

THE FACTS: Pfizer notably did not accept government money to develop, test or expand manufacturing capacity under Trump’s Operation Warp Speed initiative to quickly find a vaccine and treatments for the disease sweeping the country.

In fact, Pfizer partnered with the vaccine’s original developer, Germany’s BioNTech, in March and the following month announced the first human study in Germany. The White House announced Operation Warp Speed in May.

Pfizer opted not to join Operation Warp Speed initially but is following the same general requirements for the vaccine’s development as competitors who received government research money. The company says it has risked $2 billion of its own money on vaccine development and won’t get anything from Washington unless the effort is successful.

“Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine development and manufacturing costs have been entirely self-funded,” Pfizer spokeswoman Jerica Pitts said this week. “We decided to self-fund our efforts so we could move as fast as possible.”

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(Photo by Pablo Monsalve/VIEWpress via Getty Images)”nNEW YORK,New York – APRIL 07:A view of the “Police Line- Do Not Cross” tape marking the parameter of a temporary field hospital to treat covid-19 patients set up in Central Park by “Samaritans purse” a charitable organization working with Mount Sinai. on April 07, 2020 in New York City, United States. COVID-19 has spread to most countries around the world, claiming over 80,000 lives with over 1.4 million infections. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)NEW YORK, UNITED STATES – APRIL 7, 2020: Hospital workers wheel out bodies to be stored in a portable morgue outside Brooklyn Hospital. New York had its highest 24 hour death toll with 731 people dying of the corona virus, however hospitalization seems to be going down.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Braulio Jatar / Echoes WIre/ Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Braulio Jatar / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)WEST COVINA, CA – APRIL 07:Karina Pantoja, left, community home dental coordinator along with Dentist Dr. Rosette El Rehab screens people during Coronavirus testing by the city of West Covina and AltaMed in West Covina on Tuesday, April 07, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)BOSTON, MA – APRIL 8: Boston Mayor Marty Walsh speaks at a press briefing on the city’s efforts battling the coronavirus pandemic outside City Hall in Boston on Apr. 7, 2020. He wore a New England Patriots protective face mask. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 07:A “Station Closed” sign is hung at the gate of Federal Triangle Metro Station April 7, 2020 in Washington, DC. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority announced that it is cutting late night service and closing all Metro stations at 9pm daily until further notice due to lower ridership in the COVID-19 outbreak. Nineteen Metro stations had already been closed prior to the service cut. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)Residents of the Sunrise at FlatIrons assisted living facility participated in a “social distancing” workout from their balconies or in the common area on Tuesday, April 07, 2020, in Broomfield, Colo. Senior living facilities across the state are currently quarantining residents as a precaution to the current coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Jeremy Papasso/MediaNews Group/Boulder Daily Camera via Getty Images)NEW JERSEY, USA – APRIL 7: A general view of empty city from Eagle Rock Reservation Park during the new type of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in New Jersey, United States on April 7, 2020. (Photo by Islam Dogru/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)NEW YORK,New York – APRIL 07: A Skater on roller blades wears a surgical mask on the West Side Highway Bike Path in front of the USNS Comfort which is docked on pier 90, in Manhattan on April 07, 2020 in New York City, United States. COVID-19 has spread to most countries around the world, claiming over 80,000 lives with over 1.4 million infections. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)Reading, PA – March 26: A Stay Strong sign has been erected in the cloverleaf at the Penn Street exit of Route 422, in Reading, PA Thursday, March 26, 2020, to offer encouragement in the coronavirus epidemic.(Photo by Bill Uhrich/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)UNITED STATES – MARCH 27: Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-N.J., walks down the House steps as the House votes on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act in Washington on Friday, March 27, 2020.(Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)NEW YORK, USA – MARCH 25: A patient with a face mask is seen at the Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, United States on March 25, 2020. The coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S. topped 800 on Wednesday, while the number of cases reached over 55,200, according to latest figures by Johns Hopkins University. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 27: A New York Police officer wears a face mask as he directs traffic on a local street on March 27, 2020 in New York City. At least 350 members of the New York City Police Department including deputy commissioner John Miller were confirmed to have the virus. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 27: A New York Police officer wears a face mask as he directs traffic on a local street on March 27, 2020 in New York City. At least 350 members of the New York City Police Department including deputy commissioner John Miller were confirmed to have the virus. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 27: U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talks with reporters as she arrives at the U.S. Capitol on March 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote today on the stimulus bill intended to combat the economic effects caused by the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 27: People cross Park Av. after it was announced that some streets will be shut as lockdown continues in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreakon March 27, 2020 in New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio chose four streets across four boroughs to test whether shutting down streets to vehicular traffic would increase social distancing among pedestrians during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)FLORIDA, USA – MARCH 20: Paramedics dressed in hazmat suits assist the evacuation of cruiseships crew members with respiratory symptoms associated with coronavirus (COVID-19) at the Coast Guardâs Miami Beach station, in Miami, Florida, United States on March 26, 2020. (Photo by MARCO BELLO/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)FLORIDA, USA – MARCH 20: An ambulance is seen during the evacuation of cruiseships crew members with respiratory symptoms associated with coronavirus (COVID-19) at the Coast Guardâs Miami Beach station, in Miami, Florida, United States on March 26, 2020. (Photo by MARCO BELLO/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)Reading, PA – March 26: (L-R) Siblings Azuleirys Francisco, 10, Alexander Francisco, 6, and Jovani Francisco, 8, sanitize their hands as a precaution against coronavirus while picking up meals from the parking lot at 4th and Windsor in Reading, PA Thursday afternoon Thursday March 26, 2020. The site is run by Olivets and the Reading School District.(Photo by Lauren A. Little/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)Amity twp., PA – March 26: The sign for Hope Church in Amity Township that reads “Social Distancing, Join us online…” Thursday afternoon March 26, 2020.(Photo by Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)A woman poses for a photo with her dog in a mostly empty Times Square, New York, US,on March 25, 2020. (Photo by John Lamparski/NurPhoto via Getty Images)NEW YORK, USA – MARCH 25: A view of empty road in Brooklyn, New York, United States on March 25, 2020. The coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S. topped 800 on Wednesday, while the number of cases reached over 55,200, according to latest figures by Johns Hopkins University. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)A sign is displayed at a coffee shop on March 25, 2020 in New York City. – The number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in the United States reached 60,115 on Wednesday while 827 people had died, a tracker run by Johns Hopkins University showed. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 25: Basketball courts are seen empty due to coronavirus spread on March 25, 2020 in New York City, New York. Across the country schools, businesses and places of work have either been shut down or are restricting hours of operation as health officials try to slow the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA – MARCH 18: Shoppers at Walgreens in San Franciscoâs Castro District make last minute purchases minutes before the shelter in place directive was to take effect on March 18, 2020. (Photo by Neal Waters/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)SAN JOSE, CA, USA – MARCH 18: A Safeway store in San Jose posts new shorter store hours to provide a safer work environment ahead of Tuesdayâs directive to shelter in place for residents of the six counties that make up the Bay Area, on March 18, 2020. (Photo by Neal Waters/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA – MARCH 18: Mounted officers patrol the area outside Pier 39 in San Francisco on day one of the shelter in place order on March 18, 2020. (Photo by Neal Waters/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)MANASSAS, USA – MARCH 17: Weapons on display at a gun shop in Manassas, Virginia, United States as gun and ammunition sales in the U.S. have skyrocketed as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic spread across the country. (Photo by Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)A security officer stands guard at a tent set up outside the emergency room at an AdventHealth hospital on March 17, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. The tent is part of AdventHealth’s surge planning in case extra space is needed to care for potential coronavirus cases in the community. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images)A tent is seen set up outside the emergency room at an AdventHealth hospital on March 17, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. The tent is part of AdventHealth’s surge planning in case extra space is needed to care for potential coronavirus cases in the community. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images)External and outside of emergency room views of the pandemic, novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19 are seen at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital on March 17, 2020 in Park Ridge, Illinois, United States. The collection includes additional tents, a warning construction sign, an empty road, a congested road, a law enforcement vehicle, and a drive through testing area. (Photo by Patrick Gorski/NurPhoto via Getty Images)NEWTON, MA – MARCH 17: Medical professionals work in coronavirus testing tents at Newton Wellesley Hospital in Newton, MA on March 17, 2020. (Photo by Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)BOSTON, MA – MARCH 17: An emergency tent is set up at the Carney Hospital in Boston’s Dorchester for coronavirus pandemic use on March 17, 2020. (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)LEONARDTOWN, MARYLAND- MARCH 17: Nurses screen patients for COVID-19 virus testing at a drive-up location outside Medstar St. Mary’s Hospital on March 17, 2020 in Leonardtown, Maryland. The facility is one of the first in the Washington, DC area to offer coronavirus testing as more than 5,200 cases have been confirmed in the United States, and more than 90 deaths have been attributed to the virus. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)A sign on a table provides instructions for social distancing, while a group of people are seen in the background, selective focus, sitting around a small table, at a hospital in San Francisco during an outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus, California, March 16, 2020. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)NEWTON, MA – MARCH, 16: Nurse practitioner Amy Israelian puts on protective gear in a tent in the parking lot of the Newton-Wellesley Hospital before testing a possible coronavirus patient in Newton, MA on March 16, 2020. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)Two staff members wheel Amwell telemedicine carts into the entrance of the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Benioff Children’s Hospital in Mission Bay, San Francisco, California during an outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus, March 16, 2020. As a result of the outbreak, patients are increasingly being asked to conduct telemedicine appointments to avoid infecting healthcare workers. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)People line up to enter a triage tent outside of the emergency room at Memorial West Hospital in Pembroke Pines, Fla., on Monday, March 16, 2020. (Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)WESTMINSTER, MARYLAND – MARCH 16: Dawn Canova, clinical manager for outpatient wound care at Carroll Hospital, takes off her protective gloves after taking a sample to test a person for the coronavirus at a drive-thru station in the hospital’s parking garage March 16, 2020 in Westminster, Maryland. Not open to the general public for testing, the station was set up to take samples from people who had spoken with their doctors and received explicit direction to get a test for the novel coronavirus called COVID-19.(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)WESTMINSTER, MARYLAND – MARCH 16: Carroll Hospital Critical Care Unit Clinical Manager Stephanie Bakert talks to a personthrough his car window using a mobile phone before testing him for the coronavirus at a drive-thru station in the hospital’s parking garage March 16, 2020 in Westminster, Maryland. Not open to the general public for testing, the station was set up to take samples from people who had spoken with their doctors and received explicit direction to get a test for the novel coronavirus called COVID-19.(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 15:An exterior view of Lenox Hill Hospital as the coronavirus continues to spread across the United States on March 15, 2020 in New York City. The World Health Organization declared coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic on March 11th. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 15: Passengers disembark from the Norwegian Bliss cruise ship on March 15, 2020 in New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday that any cruise ship passenger disembarking in New York City with a temperature over 100.4 will be given the choice of self-isolating at home or be taken to a hospital to protect against the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)DAYTON, WA – MARCH 14: Dr. Lewis Neace, head of the ER at Dayton General Hospital poses for a photograph.Dayton, a small town in rural southeast Washington has an aging population,had its first positive test for Coronavirus and is waiting on results of more tests. (Photo by Nick Otto for the Washington Post)NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MARCH 14: An exterior view of Harlem Hospital Center, aka NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem, as the coronavirus continues to spread across the United States on March 14, 2020 in New York City. The World Health Organization declared coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic on March 11th. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)JACKSONVILLE, FL – MARCH 14: A general view of the Ascension St. Vincent’s Riverside Hospital on March 14, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic.(Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)Un puñado de personas transitan la terminal de Grand Central en Nueva York el 23 de marzo del 2020. Normalmente hay multitudes en la estación, pero muy poca gente está viajando como consecuencia del coronavirus. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)A sign displaying messages on how to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, is displayed at the mouth of the Manhattan Bridge, Monday, March 23, 2020, in the Brooklyn borough of New York.(AP Photo/John Minchillo)NEW PALTZ, NY – MARCH 22: A highway information display says, “STOP THE SPREAD SAVE LIVES” on a mostly empty Interstate 87 on Sunday afternoon. The highway was mostly empty on the same day that New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo pleads with New York residents to take the stay-at-home orders seriously regarding the Coronavirus pandemic.Photographed in New Paltz, New York on March 22, 2020, USA.(Photo by Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images)People are seen lining up for testing Covid-19 in Elmhurst Queens to test for Coronavirus, on March 21, 2020. (Photo by John Nacion/NurPhoto via Getty Images)People are seen lining up for testing Covid-19 in Elmhurst Queens to test for Coronavirus, on March 21, 2020. (Photo by John Nacion/NurPhoto via Getty Images)STONY BROOK,NEW YORK – MARCH 21: A sign direct people to a COVID-19 test facility at Stony Brook University on March 21, 2020 in Stony Brook, New York. The World Health Organization declared coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic on March 11th.(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)US President Donald Trump and other members of the task force listen as National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director, Dr. Anthony Fauci, speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, at the White House on March 21, 2020, in Washington, DC. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)Women wear face masks a a scarf to protect their mouths and nose as they walk along 34th St., Friday, March 20, 2020, in New York. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ordering all workers in non-essential businesses to stay home and banning gatherings statewide. “Only essential businesses can have workers commuting to the job or on the job,” Cuomo said of an executive order he will sign Friday. Nonessential gatherings of individuals of any size or for any reason are canceled or postponed. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)A subway customer wears protective gloves on an empty car as it stops at a sparsely populated 57th Street station due to COVID-19 concerns, Friday, March 20, 2020, in New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ordering all workers in non-essential businesses to stay home and banning gatherings statewide. “Only essential businesses can have workers commuting to the job or on the job,” Cuomo said of an executive order on Friday. Nonessential gatherings of individuals of any size or for any reason are canceled or postponed. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)A postal worker wears a protective mask and gloves while operating a route in the Queens borough of New York, Friday, March 20, 2020. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ordering all workers in non-essential businesses to stay home and banning gatherings statewide. “Only essential businesses can have workers commuting to the job or on the job,” Cuomo said of an executive order he will sign Friday. Nonessential gatherings of individuals of any size or for any reason are canceled or postponed. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)A Red Robin reastaurant in Tigard, Ore., has closed some tables in order to maintain ‘social distancing’ between diners per CDC guidelines Sunday, March 15, 2020. They said they were running the place at 50 percent capacity so they could leave tables empty between customers. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)A commuter pauses to read a video display on the Gallery Place Metro subway train platform in Washington, Friday, March 13, 2020, with a message from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the proper way to wash your hands to combat the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)US Vice President Mike Pence, flanked by CDC Director Robert R. Redfield (L) and FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor, shows documents to reporters during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, at the White House on March 22, 2020, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Eric BARADAT / AFP) (Photo by ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images)An electronic billboard sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides tips for the public on ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) on March 20, 2020 along Interstate 4 in Deland, Florida. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images)Street performer Eddie Webb looks around the nearly deserted French Quarter looking to make money in New Orleans, Sunday, March 22, 2020. With much of the city already hunkered down due to the coronavirus pandemic, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards issues a shelter-in-place order to take effect starting Monday at 5:00 PM. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)A sign to draw customers is seen outside the nearly empty Superior Seafood and Oyster Bar in New Orleans, Thursday, March 19, 2020. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell have ordered all restaurants and bars to close except for takeout, and asked residents to remain home and maintain social distancing from others when outside, due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)Kamari Fletcher waits for her to-go order inside the nearly empty Superior Seafood and Oyster Bar in New Orleans, Thursday, March 19, 2020. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell have ordered all restaurants and bars to close except for takeout, and asked residents to remain home and maintain social distancing from others when outside, due to the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)A shuttered business is seen in the French Quarter in New Orleans on March 26, 2020, during the coronavirus outbreak. – New Orleans, the Louisiana city known as the “Big Easy” famed for its jazz and nightlife, has become an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic gripping the United States. The southern US state now has 2,305 confirmed cases and 83 deaths. New Orleans alone accounts for 997 of the cases and 46 of the deaths. (Photo by Emily Kask / 30203169A / AFP) (Photo by EMILY KASK/30203169A/AFP via Getty Images)Words from Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” are painted onto plywood covering the window of a closed business during the coronavirus outbreak in New Orleans on March 26, 2020. – New Orleans, the Louisiana city known as the “Big Easy” famed for its jazz and nightlife, has become an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic gripping the United States. The southern US state now has 2,305 confirmed cases and 83 deaths. New Orleans alone accounts for 997 of the cases and 46 of the deaths. (Photo by Emily Kask / 30203169A / AFP) (Photo by EMILY KASK/30203169A/AFP via Getty Images)A closure note is posted on the family-owned Bar Redux in the Bywater in New Orleans on March 26, 2020. – New Orleans, the Louisiana city known as the “Big Easy” famed for its jazz and nightlife, has become an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic gripping the United States. The southern US state now has 2,305 confirmed cases and 83 deaths. New Orleans alone accounts for 997 of the cases and 46 of the deaths. (Photo by Emily Kask / 30203169A / AFP) (Photo by EMILY KASK/30203169A/AFP via Getty Images)A shuttered business is pictured on Decatur Street in New Orleans, Louisiana, on March 26, 2020. – New Orleans, the Louisiana city known as the “Big Easy” famed for its jazz and nightlife, has become an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic gripping the United States. The southern US state now has 2,305 confirmed cases and 83 deaths. New Orleans alone accounts for 997 of the cases and 46 of the deaths. (Photo by Emily Kask / 30203169A / AFP) (Photo by EMILY KASK/30203169A/AFP via Getty Images)A shuttered restaurant is pictured in the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana, on March 26, 2020. – New Orleans, the Louisiana city known as the “Big Easy” famed for its jazz and nightlife, has become an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic gripping the United States. The southern US state now has 2,305 confirmed cases and 83 deaths. New Orleans alone accounts for 997 of the cases and 46 of the deaths. (Photo by Emily Kask / 30203169A / AFP) (Photo by EMILY KASK/30203169A/AFP via Getty Images)National Guard members walk down Rampart Street in New Orleans, Louisiana, on March 26, 2020. – New Orleans, the Louisiana city known as the “Big Easy” famed for its jazz and nightlife, has become an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic gripping the United States. The southern US state now has 2,305 confirmed cases and 83 deaths. New Orleans alone accounts for 997 of the cases and 46 of the deaths. (Photo by Emily Kask / 30203169A / AFP) (Photo by EMILY KASK/30203169A/AFP via Getty Images)Stony Brook, N.Y.: State workers and members of the National Guard check in people arriving for the drive-thru coronavirus testing at Stony brook University in New York on March 25, 2020. (Photo by John Paraskevas/Newsday RM via Getty Images)Gov. Brad Little issues a statewide stay-at-home order to further prevent spread of coronavirus COVID-19 at a press conference Wednesday, March 25, 2020 held at Gowen Field, headquarters of the Idaho Army National Guard in Boise, Idaho. (Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)A Healthcare worker help to check in with the assistant from the Florida Army National Guard as vehicles line up at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing center at Marlins Park as the coronavirus pandemic continues on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 in Miami. (David Santiago/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)A Healthcare worker help to check in with the assistant from the Florida Army National Guard as vehicles line up at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing center at Marlins Park as the coronavirus pandemic continues on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 in Miami.(David Santiago/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 26: (L-R) U.S. President Donald Trump and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauciarrive for a briefing on the coronavirus pandemic in the press briefing room of the White House on March 26, 2020 in Washington, DC. The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote Friday on the $2 trillion stimulus package to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 26: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci listens as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing on the coronavirus pandemic, in the press briefing room of the White House on March 26, 2020 in Washington, DC. After the U.S. House of Representatives votes on Friday, President Trump is expected to sign the $2 trillion stimulus package to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 25: Flanked by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci (L) and White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx, Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a briefing on the coronavirus pandemic, in the press briefing room of the White House on March 25, 2020 in Washington, DC. The United States Senate continues to work on a $2 trillion aide package to combat the health and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)BLOOMINGTON, UNITED STATES – MARCH 26, 2020: A volunteer puts on gloves before participating in the Monroe County Food Train to give meals, and groceries to youth 18 and under, during the COVID-19/Coronavirus emergency in Bloomington. Hundreds of workers have been laid off in the community, and the governor has issued a stay-at-home order.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Jeremy Hogan / Echoes Wire/ Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Jeremy Hogan / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)BOSTON, MA – MARCH 26: Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders and Gov. Charlie Baker hold a press conference in the Gardner Auditorium at The Massachusetts State House in Boston on March 26, 2020. Baker and Sudders addressed attempting to secure more pieces of personal protection equipment and mobile schooling concerns. (Photo by Blake Nissen/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)The Magic Bag theater is pictured closed, due to Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s measures to stop the spread of COVID 19 in Ferndale, Michigan on March 26, 2020. (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY / AFP) (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)Up Next

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Pfizer did sign an agreement with the U.S. government in July worth $1.95 billion — if the vaccine pans out and is cleared by the FDA — to supply 100 million doses. That guarantees Pfizer a U.S. market, an important incentive.

The supply side of Operation Warp Speed also allows Pfizer logistical help, although the company will directly ship its own vaccine, while the government will control shipping of other COVID-19 vaccines.

TRUMP: ”’President Trump told us for some time we would be getting a Vaccine by the end of the year and people laughed at him, and here we are with Pfizer getting FDA approval by the end of this month. He was right.’ @MariaBartiromo.” — tweet Tuesday.

THE FACTS: Trump’s suggestion — quoting Fox Business Network anchor Maria Bartiromo — that he stood alone in saying a COVID-19 vaccine was possible by year’s end is incorrect. Top health experts said they considered that possible, though far from certain, and were more skeptical of Trump’s claim that a coronavirus vaccine would become available before the Nov. 3 election. The vaccine isn’t expected to become widely available to the public before 2021.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious diseases expert, had previously said that he was “cautiously optimistic” that a vaccine will be ready by late 2020 or early 2021. On Nov. 9, he called Pfizer’s news “extraordinary” but reiterated that it did not mean the U.S. had its immediate cure-all for the coronavirus.

The first step for Pfizer would be to apply for “emergency use authorization” by the FDA, probably later this month, which would allow for limited distribution before it seeks full FDA approval for wider use. Neither step is guaranteed to happen.

“There’s still some questions about, you know, the durability of the effect about whether how effective it is in the elderly versus younger people,” Fauci told CNN. “We know this is light at the end of the tunnel, but that doesn’t mean that we’re going to give up the important public health measures that we continually still have to do every single day.”

Pfizer’s interim analysis, from an independent data monitoring board, looked at 94 infections recorded so far in a study that has enrolled nearly 44,000 people in the U.S. and five other countries.

Some participants got the vaccine, while others got dummy shots. Pfizer says only the data and safety monitoring board knows the breakdowns, not Pfizer researchers or executives. For the vaccine to be 90% effective, nearly all the infections must have occurred in placebo recipients. The study is continuing, and Pfizer cautioned that the protection rate might change as more COVID-19 cases are added to the calculations.

During the presidential campaign, Trump frequently suggested a vaccine might arrive before the Nov. 3 election.

“What I said is by the end of the year, but I think it could even be sooner than that,” Trump said in September about a vaccine. “It could be during the month of October, actually could be before November.”

TRUMP: “As I have long said, @Pfizer and the others would only announce a Vaccine after the Election, because they didn’t have the courage to do it before. Likewise, the @US_FDA should have announced it earlier, not for political purposes, but for saving lives!” — tweet Nov. 9.

TRUMP: “The @US_FDA and the Democrats didn’t want to have me get a Vaccine WIN, prior to the election, so instead it came out five days later – As I’ve said all along!” — tweet Nov. 9.

THE FACTS: His claim that Pfizer and the FDA withheld vaccine information until after the election is false. The company itself learned of the interim results a week ago, and the FDA was not involved in Pfizer’s decision to announce its early results.

Every vaccine study such as the one done on Pfizer’s is overseen by an independent data and safety monitoring board.

These boards include scientists and statisticians who have no ties to the vaccine makers.

Before a study is complete, only the board has the power to unlock the code of who got a real vaccine and who got a placebo, and to recommend if the shots are working well enough to stop testing early.

Those boards take sneak peeks at predetermined times agreed to by the manufacturer and the FDA. It provided the first interim analysis for Pfizer on Nov. 8.

John Burkhardt, senior vice president of drug safety research and development at Pfizer, said on Nov. 9 that the timing of the company’s vaccine announcement was not related in any way to the presidential election and was made as soon as the efficacy data was ready.

Pfizer and the maker of the other leading U.S. vaccine candidate, Moderna Inc., have been cautioning for weeks that the earliest they could seek regulatory approval for wider use of their shots would be late November.

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