Battle over possible guidelines for emergency use of COVID vaccine

Trump questioned the FDA’s motives after reports the agency could soon announce tougher rules for potential vaccines to pass in order to get emergency authorization.
3:07 | 09/24/20

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Transcript for Battle over possible guidelines for emergency use of COVID vaccine
on the coronavirus emergency as the top experts with an urgent warning in that intense hearing on the hill. The president threatening to overrule the scientists and the fda on those expected new guidelines for vaccine makers. Mary Bruce joins us now from Washington with more on that. Good morning, Mary. Reporter: Good morning, robin. Well, six months into this pandemic, 200,000 Americans dead, and this morning, president trump and his administration are once again injecting politics into this pandemic undermining the nation's top scientists and even questioning their motives. At the white house, president trump undercutting his own health officials yet again saying, if the fda adopts stricter standards that slow down the release of a coronavirus vaccine, he might reject then. Are you okay with that? Well, I tell you what. We're looking at that, and that has to be approved by the white house. We may or may not approve it. That sounds like a political move. Reporter: Those new rules would reportedly require monitoring trial volunteers longer, possibly delaying authorization of a vaccine until after the election. A target date trump has been touting. We think we can start sometime in October. Reporter: The fda declined to comment on the president's latest statement, but just hours earlier, testifying on capitol hill the fda commissioner was adamant. They are being guided by science, not politics. Our thorough review processes and science will guide our decisions. Fda will not permit any pressure from anyone to change that. I will fight for science. Reporter: 40 days until the election, the white house has been ego tore paint a rosy picture of their handling of the pandemic, but on Wednesday, Robert Redfield with a blunt reality check. A majority of our nation, more than 90% of the population remains susceptible. Reporter: Shortly after white house adviser Scott atlas who has no background in science argued that's not true. I think Dr. Redfield misstated something there. Reporter: He said the data he's referring to is old and he got it wrong, but the top nation's scientists are fed up with being targeted in this political battle. Rand Paul questioning if safety guidelines in New York have helped beat back the pandemic. I challenge that, senator. I'm afraid -- Please, sir. I would like to be able to do this because this happens with senator Rand all the time. You are not listening to what the director of the CDC said that in New York it's about 22%. If you believe 22% is herd immunity, I believe you're alone in that. Reporter: Now the experts say a vaccine could be authorized soon, but say it will likely take several more months to be widely available and distributed. They say TSA not likely to happen until sometime next spring, and even then Dr. Fauci cautions that a vaccine is not going to completely eradicate a long road ahead. Sure is.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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