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As U.S. President Donald Trump repeatedly touts the possibility of a COVID-19 vaccine winning approval by Election Day, the companies he needs to make that happen are pushing back. And that’s a good thing all around.

On Tuesday, nine major coronavirus vaccine developers — including Pfizer Inc., AstraZeneca Plc, and Moderna Inc. — signed a joint pledge under which they committed not to submit their inoculations for Food and Drug Administration approval until they demonstrates safety and efficacy in a large, late-stage trial. It’s an unusual statement; typically, the FDA is the one defending high standards, while drug manufacturers try to push boundaries. Unprecedented political pressure, combined with public unease over what some fear may be a rushed process, has forced a role reversal.

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