President Trump predicted the United States will have a vaccine for the coronavirus by the end of the year.
“We think we are going to have a vaccine by the end of this year,” Trump said Sunday evening during a Fox News virtual town hall. “We’ll have a vaccine much sooner rather than later.”
When asked by Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum if he was concerned about any potential risks of accelerating a vaccine and the human trials, Trump said he was “very confident” in the assessment.
“No, because they’re volunteers. They know what they’re getting into. They’re in many cases very good people. They want to help the process. Look, a vaccine has never gone like it’s gone now. They want to help the process,” Trump responded, noting that he has met with executive companies that are working with a vaccine development.
“We’re so far ahead of any vaccine ever in history. These things would take two, four, five, six years,” Trump added.
The projection of a vaccine is viewed to be too ambitious as medical experts have advised that any type of coronavirus vaccine development could take up to 18 months, if not longer.
However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top U.S. infectious disease expert and member of the coronavirus Task Force said a viable vaccine is “doable” by January.
“We want to go quickly, but we want to make sure it’s safe and it’s effective,” Dr. Fauci said on the Today Show last Thursday. “I think that is doable if things fall in the right place. Remember, go back in time, I was saying in January and February that it would be a year to 18 months (to develop a vaccine), so January is a year, so it isn’t that much from what I had originally said.”
So far there are 14 potential coronavirus vaccines that are under development as part of President Trump’s “Operation Warp Speed” program to fast track a vaccine for use as early as January. The potential vaccines will undergo additional testing over the next two weeks, with officials expecting that six to eight of them will make the subsequent round of clinical trials. The goal, according to the administration is to have three or four of those vaccines to make it through the final testing to be cleared for use by January.
Trump also predicted that the U.S. would be self-reliant on antibiotics, without needing to rely on China, within two years.