- The Washington Times - Friday, September 4, 2020

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams on Friday said the timeline for a COVID-19 vaccine is based on science, not politics.

“We’ve always said that we are hopeful for a vaccine by the end of this year or beginning of next year,” Dr. Adams said, bucking criticism of a potential November target date for a vaccine on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Having the vaccine ready early was “possible even though not probable,” he said.

“What people need to understand is we have what are called Data Safety Monitoring Boards that blinds the data,” he said. “So it won’t be possible to actually move forward unless this independent board thinks that there is good evidence that these vaccines are efficacious.”

Dr. Adams also warned Americans not to let their coronavirus guard down over the Labor Day holiday weekend.

Failing to take basic precautions would risk another virus surge similar to what happened following the July 4th holiday, he said.

“We’ve had a decrease of about 40% in cases since that July 24 peak so we’re moving in the right direction, but we can’t afford to backslide,” Dr. Adams said.

He urged everyone to follow what he called the “Three W’s” — wash hands, watch social distance and wear a mask in public.

“We know these things work,” he said. “Look at Arizona that was worst in the nation for a time, but it’s now one of the best in the nation. I want people to understand we have the tools to keep this virus under control. We just need to come together and have the will to actually utilize these tools.”

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