President Donald Trump expressed optimism that the United States will develop a vaccine to treat coornavirus by the end of the year.
Trump made the prediction at a Fox News virtual town hall on Sunday, which is contrary to public health experts’ assessment that it will take at least another year to make a breakthrough in anti-coronavirus vaccine development.
“I think we’re going to have a vaccine by the end of the year. The doctors would say, well you shouldn’t say that. I’ll say what I think… I think we’ll a vaccine sooner rather than later.”
Asked about the potential risks of accelerating a vaccine and human trials, Trump told the Fox News anchor: “No, because they’re volunteers. They know what they’re getting into … They want to help the process.”
Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, had previously said it would take up to 18 months to develop a vaccine, but he said at the weekend that it was possible to have a vaccine by January “if things fall in the right place.”
Trump repeated his blame on China for its failure to prevent the spread of the killer virus. “I think they made a horrible mistake, and they didn’t want to admit it. We wanted to go in. They didn’t want us there.”
CNN reported quoting a Trump administration official that scientists working as part of the White House’s “Operation Warp Speed” have identified 14 vaccines to focus on for development.
Meanwhile, in a statement he issued ahead of an international pledging conference co-hosted by the UK on Monday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his government is pledging $483 million for research for the discovery of a coronavirus vaccine.
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