United States President Donald Trump speaks to the press in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC on August 10, 2020.
Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images
WASHINGTON – The Trump administration is considering rapidly pursuing an experimental coronavirus vaccine developed in the UK for use in the US ahead of the country's upcoming presidential election, according to a report in the Financial Times that briefed three people on the plan .
One option, according to the FT report, would be for the US Food and Drug Administration to issue "emergency clearance" for the vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca.
AstraZeneca informed the FT that it had not discussed an emergency approval with the US government for its potential vaccine. A health and welfare spokesman, which includes the FDA, told FT that any claim of an emergency vaccine approval prior to the election would be "dead wrong".
The latest revelation comes amid reports that Trump will announce emergency convalescent plasma approval for Covid-19 on Sunday.
On Saturday, President Donald Trump made an unfounded accusation that the FDA was standing in the way of drug companies' efforts to test potential coronavirus vaccines and treatments for political reasons.
House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi replied on Twitter, urging the FDA not to succumb to political pressure from the White House.
She added that Trump's "dangerous attempt to participate in @US_FDA's scientific decisions puts the health and wellbeing of all Americans at risk".
The White House, FDA, and Pelosi offices did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.
The availability of a vaccine ahead of the U.S. presidential election could allow Trump to justify his administration's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has received widespread criticism.
During his congressional address on Thursday, former Vice President Joe Biden put down Trump's response to the public health crisis, calling it "the worst achievement of any nation on earth".
The coronavirus infected more than 5.6 million people in the United States on Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is roughly a quarter of the cases reported worldwide. On Friday, the US recorded at least 1,100 deaths, bringing the country's death toll to over 175,000.