US voters have become accustomed to the proverbial “October Surprise” which comes weeks before the election tilting the scales in favor of one candidate just at the right time.
In 2016, then FBI Director James B. Comey announced he was reopening the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails in the final days before the election.
Some pundits argue this was just the momentum Donald Trump needed to beat Hillary Clinton across the finish line.
Now, there’s another October surprise that may be brewing, but it has very little to do with Trump’s opponent this time.
A new report suggests a coronavirus vaccine might receive approval before the trials are over raising the possibility of approval before the election.
Stephen Hahn, the head of the US Food and Drug Administration said he is willing to bypass the normal approval process to authorize a coronavirus vaccine as soon as it is possible.
While Hahn said it will be up to the vaccine manufacturers to apply for approval before the end “Phase 3” trials which include widespread human testing, he will authorize approval if it’s “appropriate”.
Approval in October doesn’t mean anyone will receive a vaccine before November, but it has other implications.
The economy was roaring before Covid-19 took hold in the United States.
A vaccine could ease voters’ economic anxiety and uncertainty while providing them some optimism they will be able to return to their normal lives, travel, visit family, eat at restaurants, attend sporting events, and concerts again soon.
Since the RNC Convention last week, Trump has already narrowed Biden’s national lead and his approval rating has increased.
Trump has received low marks from voters who are concerned about coronavirus and a recent poll of swing states indicated 66% of likely voters have serious concerns about the virus.
Approval of a coronavirus vaccine and the optimism that comes along with it could be all that Trump needs to put him over the top on November 3rd.