September 8, 2020 at 9:02 AM EDT
Trump fixates on the promise of a vaccine — real or not — as key to reelection bid
President Trump is so fixated on finding a vaccine for the novel coronavirus that in meetings about the U.S. pandemic response, little else captures his attention, according to administration officials.
Trump has pressed health officials to speed up the vaccine timeline and urged them to deliver one by the end of the year. He has peppered them with questions about the development status and mass-distribution plans. In recent days, he has told some advisers and aides that a vaccine may arrive by Nov. 1, which just happens to be two days before the presidential election.
Trump’s desire to deliver a vaccine — or at least convince the public that one is very near — by the time voters decide whether to elect him to a second term is in part a campaign gambit to improve his standing with an electorate that overwhelmingly disapproves of his management of the pandemic.
By Philip Rucker, Josh Dawsey and Yasmeen Abutaleb