US President Donald Trump has raised questions over the credibility of India's COVID-19 tally, claiming that it was among the countries that do not accurately disclose the number of deaths due to the pandemic.
The remarks by Trump came during his first presidential debate with Democratic challenger Joe Biden, who attacked the US president over the handling of the coronavirus crisis and said the president lied to Americans on the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 200,000 people and infected over seven million others in the country.
Defending his handling of the crisis, Trump said that "millions" could have died in America without his actions. "When you talk about due the numbers, you don't know how many people died in China. You don't know how many people died in Russia. You don't know how many people died in India. They don't exactly give you a right number. Just so you understand," Trump said.
Trump has repeatedly blamed China, where the coronavirus first emerged in December last year and spread around the world, killing over one million and infecting more than 30 million people. Attacking Trump over the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden said the president has "no plan" to fight the deadly disease and he lied to Americans.
"He still hasn't even acknowledged that he knew this was happening, knew how dangerous it was going to be back in February, and he didn't even tell you. He is on record as saying it. He panicked or he just looked at the stock market, one of the two, because guess what, a lot of people die and a lot more are going to die unless he gets a lot smarter, a lot quicker," he said.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
During the first of the three presidential debates in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday night which was marked by angry interruptions and bitter accusations, the two candidates fiercely clashed over a number of issues, including racism, economy and climate.Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.