At the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville, Tennessee at the end of February, former Arkansas governor and failed presidential candidate Mike Huckabee declared, “The Israelis are very close to finding a cure, a vaccine to the coronavirus. They expect that they will have it in the marketplace within a few weeks.”
“Let them boycott that,” Huckabee said of proponents of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, (commonly abbreviated BDS), which promotes boycotts of Israel as a means to protesting that government’s policies.
Huckabee’s claim may have been based on news reports quoting an Israeli government official saying that scientists were “on the cusp of developing the first vaccine against the novel coronavirus.” The CEO of the research institute predicted that with the government promising to fast-track approval processes, it could “achieve safety approval in 90 days,” though it would take longer to actually bring the vaccine to market.
Last week, President Donald Trump publicly sparred with U.S. government public health experts on the amount of time it would take to develop and deploy a vaccine against the coronavirus. In a meeting with health officials, Trump expressed hope that a vaccine could be ready in a couple of months; Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases explained it would be possible to have a vaccine ready to begin testing within a few months but that it would take 12 to 18 months of safety and efficacy testing before a vaccine is available to the public.
Meanwhile, Behold Israel, a group run by Israeli Christian End Times author Amir Tsarfati, called reports of an Israeli-developed vaccine a fulfillment of biblical prophecy that Abraham and his descendants would be “a blessing to the whole world.”
Scientists around the world are working to develop a vaccine. In February, a U.S. biotech company reportedly shipped an experimental vaccine to U.S. government researchers with hopes that trials could begin in April, but testing and approvals would be expected to take at least a year.