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The Latest: Trump team says Dems eroding trust in vaccine

President Donald Trump speaks with reporters as he walks to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in Washington. Trump is en route to Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the 2020 presidential election (all times local):

2:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s campaign is accusing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris of seeking to undermine public confidence in a coronavirus vaccine.

On a call for reporters Wednesday hosted by the campaign, Trump surrogate and Ohio Rep. Brad Wenstrup said that when it comes to the economy and the coronavirus, Biden has “proven he wants to root against American prosperity for his own political gain.” Wenstrup says the Democratic presidential ticket is “playing politics with people’s lives.”

Biden has said he would take a vaccine “tomorrow” if it were available, but he would want to “see what the scientists said” first. Harris says she wouldn’t trust Trump on the safety of any potential vaccine and worried that health experts and scientists would be “muzzled” by the president because of his urgency to get a vaccine approved by his stated goal of Election Day.

Trump said Tuesday night that a vaccine could be ready within four weeks, a more optimistic timeline than that laid out by other public health experts and government officials. He also suggested, without proof, that the coronavirus pandemic “would go away without the vaccine.”

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12:40 p.m.

Joe Biden is receiving a virtual briefing from a former U.S. surgeon general and a collection of health experts on how best to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Biden’s campaign created a virtual studio that connected the former vice president via video with former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and six other experts at a theater in downtown Wilmington, Delaware, on Wednesday. Biden will give a speech on the topic later in the day.

David Kessler, board chairman and director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, stressed for Biden the important of requirements increasing “universal masking” but also increased testing and contact tracing. He suggested doing so could save thousands of lives and ultimately be more effective between now and early next year as vaccines are being developed.

Others on the briefing endorsed a national requirement to wear masks, given the country’s “porous borders” and rules that vary from state to state. They also said that when some areas have moved to reopen shuttered bars and restaurants, virus outbreaks have often followed — suggesting that officials should encourage people to remain outside during relatively mid-fall weather and allow for returns to such establishments later.

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