President Donald Trump on Sunday said he expects to see a vaccine for the coronavirus by the end of the year.
“We are pushing it really hard,” Trump said during a virtual town hall on Fox News Channel. “We’re also pushing something. We are very confident that we’re going to have a vaccine at the end of the year.”
“We’re building supply lines,” Trump said, “We even have the final vaccine. Johnson & Johnson, if you look at Johnson & Johnson is doing it. We have many companies, I think close. I meet with the heads of them, and I find it a very interesting subject.”
Trump said fast approval is being pushed by the Food and Drug Administration.
“The doctors,” Trump said, have said he shouldn’t make such promises, but added, “I’ll say what I think. I met with the heads of the big companies, these are great companies. I think we’ll have a vaccine sooner than later.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a key member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, last week said the U.S. could have a viable coronavirus vaccine by January.
“We want to go quickly, but we want to make sure it’s safe and it’s effective,” Fauci said. “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.”
And if a vaccine isn’t found that quickly, at least a therapeutic can be found, he said he believes.
Asked by hosts Brett Baier and Martha McCallum whether he is concerned another country might beat the United States to a vaccine, Trump said that doesn’t concern him.
“I just want to get a vaccine that works,” he said. “If it’s another country I’ll take my hat off to them.”