President Trump hopeful to have vaccine by end of year

The protest coincided with Trump's press conference to detail Operation Warp Speed, a government-wide initiative to speed the timeline to produce a coronavirus vaccine.

U.S. President Donald Trump is saying he is confident there will be a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year, and mass inoculations of the public will occur quickly.

He framed the United States vaccine project as an effort unprecedented since World War II and repeated his goal of developing a vaccine by year's end - an ambitious timeline that his newly appointed vaccine czar said was attainable, even as other experts have said 12-18 months is a more realistic projection for when a vaccine might be available.

"We'd love to see if we can do it prior to the end of the year", the president said.

"As President Trump has said, we are going to ensure that we take care of all Americans so that we emerge from this challenge healthy, stronger, and with economic prosperity, which is why the White House is focused on pro-growth, middle class tax and regulatory relief".

The doctor is leading Operation Warp Speed, a joint agency effort to quicken the development of vaccines to have at least one ready by January 2021.

Slaoui, formerly the chairman of vaccines at GlaxoSmithKline, was described by Health Secretary Alex Azar as "arguably the world's most experienced and successful vaccine developer". He also was on the board of Moderna, a company with a coronavirus vaccine candidate. But the truckers are actually protesting over low shipping rates.

Russian Federation reports 9,623 new COVID-19 cases in a day
Fifty eight people died over the past 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 1,280. Moscow recorded 5,358 new cases, bringing the capital's total tally to 62,658.

Trump told reporters he watched some of Thursday's testimony by Bright and "he looks like an angry, disgruntled employee who, frankly, according to some people, didn't do a very good job".

Government experts evaluated some 100 vaccine candidates and identified 14 they believe have the best chance of succeeding. "I don't see a path by which any vaccine is licensed - whether it's emergency use or otherwise - until the third quarter of 2021", Dr. Peter Hotez, a Baylor College of Medicine epidemiologist who is working on a vaccine of his own, told CNN shortly after Trump made his remarks.

But the drug industry executive Trump tapped as a co-director of the effort, while acknowledging that deploying a vaccine by the end of the year was an aggressive schedule, called it a "credible objective". When he retired from GSK in 2017, the drugmaker had a vaccine for Ebola in development.

Trump was at pains to say that regardless of when a vaccine was developed, the nation was already returning to normal. Those involved in the effort expect to have six to eight of the vaccines being tested make it to subsequent rounds of trials, the official said. Vaccines normally take years to develop.

Some key questions are how those at highest risk from COVID-19, such as older adults and people with chronic health problems, will respond to the shots.

"When you test, you have a case", the president said.

  • Sonia Alvarado