On Monday night, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and his Democratic opponent Cal Cunnigham faced off in an hour-long debate. Though a wide variety of issues were discussed, the possibility that a Wuhan Coronavirus vaccine would be approved and made available before the election took center stage.
In a bizarre exchange with Tillis and moderator David Crabtree, Cunningham tried to lend credence to conspiracy theories floated by the Biden-Harris presidential ticket and other Democrats. They have suggested without evidence that President Trump has been deliberately putting pressure on scientists to skip safety protocols and approve a vaccine before Election Day.
Cunningham repeatedly insinuated in his remarks that he believed the FDA had been corrupted by “political and financial influences” that he claims “are leading to distorted decision-making in Washington”:
Historically and traditionally, I would support and have confidence in the Food and Drug Administration and the processes that they go through in order to approve a drug, but we have seen an extraordinary corruption in Washington. … I would have a lot of questions of the FDA. I think the American people have questions about the government of this country, the governance of this country right now. The senator for North Carolina would be asking questions, not only about this vaccine, but also about the underlying political and financial influences that are leading to distorted decision-making in Washington.”
When Crabtree pressed him to clarify his response, Cunningham appeared to trip over his words for a moment, stating: