US President Donald Trump on Sunday said he was “confident” the United States would have a coronavirus vaccine by the end of this year, as he pushed for the country’s economy to reopen.
“Many companies are I think close,” Trump told a televised town hall at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, broadcast on Fox News, during which he answered voters’ questions submitted online, Deutsche press agency (dpa) reported.
“We are very confident that we’re going to have a vaccine at the end of the year,” he said, adding that “we’re pushing very hard.”
Public health officials have said developing a vaccine could take at least a year.
Anthony Fauci, the top US health expert on infectious diseases, on Thursday told broadcaster CNN that a vaccine could be ready by January, but cautioned that “I can’t guarantee it” due to possible setbacks.
German Health Minister Jens Spahn on Sunday called the development of vaccines among “the most challenging” tasks in medicine and said it could “take years.”
The Trump administration has organized a project to rapidly accelerate the development of a coronavirus vaccine, dubbed “Operation Warp Speed.”
The president also said the government is putting its “full power and might” behind remdesivir, an experimental anti-viral drug to treat the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that gained emergency approval on Friday.