Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top expert on infectious disease, said on Wednesday that drug manufacturers are likely to have tens of millions of coronavirus vaccine doses ready by the beginning of next year and at least 1 billion by the end of 2021.
Fauci told Reuters that there would be no pressure in the United States to safely expedite the approval of a vaccine for political gain, despite the November election.
“I’m sure what the White House would like to see, but I have not seen any indication of pressure at this point to do anything other than what we do,” he said.
President Trump said this week that a vaccine may be available this fall.
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“We are balancing speed and safety and we are getting a vaccine available this year, perhaps long before the end of the year,” Trump said in a White House newsletter. “And we mass-produce the most promising candidates in advance so that we are ready for approval. We have our military lined up, it’s logistics, it’s about logistics. “
More than 150 potential coronavirus vaccines are being developed around the world and at least 27 are in human trials, according to The New York Times.
Fauci agreed with Trump’s assessment that the virus is “under control” – but only in certain parts of the United States
“We are a big country,” he said. “You can select certain parts of the country that look good and you can say are under control; you can select certain parts of the country that are on fire, that way, I mean you have outbreaks that you know you must not. 70,000 cases a day when nothing happens. “
He lamented that younger Americans sometimes do not treat the virus with the same degree of seriousness as they should. “Young people can be infected and think it actually has no effect on them when in fact they are part of the spread of the outbreak,” Fauci said.
He also stressed that turning masking into a political issue would not help control the outbreak, but said it was a “step in the right direction” to see Trump and Vice President Pence encourage people to wear them.
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“I am very pleased now that we see the Vice President consistently wearing a mask and the President tweeted that you should wear masks,” he told Reuters. “That’s a good thing.”