Trump: US ‘essentially’ has coronavirus vaccine
President compares rapid development to allegedly speedy defeat of Isis
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKBT) — Comparing the rapid development of a novel coronavirus vaccine to the defeat of Isis, President Donald Trump declared Friday that the United States “essentially” has a vaccine.
The president also said at a news conference that he will announce soon the distribution plans for 100 million doses by year’s end.
“We essentially have it, announcing very soon,” Trump said.
Hospital personnel, first responders and high-risk individuals will get the initial doses, he said, and enough doses will be ready for all Americans to be vaccinated by April.
“In a short time we’ll have a safe and effective vaccine and we will defeat the virus,” the president promised. “Interestingly, as I was saying, it will go very well just like what we did with our military, with respect to Isis, did very well. Long ahead of schedule.”
Vaccine candidates are going through the “gold-standard” of clinical trials and, once ready, the military is ready to begin distribution within 24 hours of approval.
“We’ll have manufactured at least 100 million vaccine doses before the end of the year and likely much more than that,” Trump said. “Hundreds of millions of doses will be available every month, and we expect to have enough vaccines for every American by April. And again I’ll say that even at that later stage a delivery will go as fast it comes they can deliver.”
In spite of Trump’s promise that “three vaccines are already in the final stage,” it remains uncertain when a safe and effective vaccine will be approved for the American public.
Trump’s statements capped a week in which he went to war verbally one of the top medical authorities in his own administration.
Just hours after Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a Senate committee Wednesday most Americans probably won’t be vaccinated against COVID-19 until summer or early fall next year, Trump slammed the testimony as “incorrect information.”
“When he said it, I believe he was confused,” Trump said at a news conference Wednesday. “We’re ready to go as soon as the vaccine is approved … We’re not going to say ‘in six months,’ we’re going to start giving it to the general public.’”
Also under oath during his Senate testimony, Redfield had underscored the importance of wearing masks.
“This face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine because the immunogenicity may be 70 percent, and if I don’t get an immune response, the vaccine’s not going to protect me,” Redfield told Senate committee members.
Trump also disputed that assessment, saying, “I mean, I think there’s a lot of problems with masks. No, a vaccine is much more effective than the masks.”
CBS News reports indicated Thursday that the administration now has basically sidelined Redfield and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious diseases expert, from their involvement on the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
In effect, it seems as if the president has canceled them and replaced them with Dr. Scott Atlas, a neuroradiologist who now appears to be the president’s top adviser on the virus.
That echoes other instances in which Trump has urged boycotts and other measures to punish those who don’t agree with him, even though he has excoriated the so-called “cancel culture.”
For example, when Goodyear announced that employees could not wear MAGA hats on the job, Trump tweeted, “Don’t buy GOODYEAR TIRES – They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS. Get better tires for far less!”
He also has demanded the firing of many journalists, including The Washington Post’s Dave Weigel, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, NBC’s Chuck Todd, MSNBC’s Katy Tur and Fox News pollsters, among others.
And yet, during his speech when he accepted his party’s nomination Aug. 24 at the Republican National Convention, he questioned such actions, saying, “The goal of cancel culture is to make decent Americans live in fear of being fired, expelled, shamed, humiliated and driven from society as we know it.”
This story includes information from The Associated Press and other media resources.
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