62 Percent of Americans Worried That Politics Will Pressure Rush Approval of COVID Vaccine, Poll Says

A majority of Americans say they are worried that politics will pressure the rush of a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, according to a new poll.

The poll, which was conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), found that 62 percent of Americans expressed concern that President Donald Trump's administration will lead the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) "to rush to approve a coronavirus vaccine without making sure that it is safe and effective."

Among the 62 percent, 33 percent said they were very worried, and 29 percent said they were somewhat worried. Comparatively, 36 percent said they were not worried, with 16 percent said not too worried and 20 percent saying not at all worried.

Across different political party affiliations, the poll found 85 percent of Democrats said they were worried politics would influence the development of a vaccine, compared to 35 percent of Republicans and 61 percent of independents.

The poll surveyed 1,199 U.S. adults from August 28 to September 3 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The poll's findings come as Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden have accused each other of attempting to politicize a vaccine for the novel virus.

During a Labor Day press conference Trump said that it would be "dangerous" if U.S. citizens listened to Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris about a potential vaccine.

Coronavirus Vaccines
Dr. Rhonda Flores looks at protein samples at Novavax labs in Gaithersburg, Maryland on March 20, 2020, one of the labs developing a vaccine for the coronavirus, COVID-19. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Getty

"Biden and his very liberal running mate," Trump said during the press conference. "Should immediately apologize for the reckless anti-vaccine rhetoric that they are talking right now, talking about endangering lives and it undermines science and what's happening is all of a sudden you'll have this incredible vaccine and because of that fake rhetoric, it's political rhetoric, that's all it is, just for politics."

In a tweet published on Tuesday, Biden wrote "while I see a vaccine as a product of science, President Trump sees it as a political tool," adding that Trump and his administration "must commit to respecting the independent judgment of the non-political professional staff at the FDA."

Biden previously accused Trump of "playing politics" with the potential vaccine to improve his campaign.

Despite the accusations by both Biden and Trump, as well as the views of Americans found in the poll, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, recently published and op-ed in the Washington Post, stating that "the development effort must adhere to standards that will ensure any COVID-19 vaccine's safety and effectiveness."

"I can further provide assurances that any vaccine authorized for widespread use will meet the appropriate standards for quality, safety and efficacy," Hahn added in the op-ed.

Newsweek was directed to Hahn's op-ed after reaching out to the FDA for comment.