“We’re going to lose anywhere from 75, 80 to 100,000 people,” Trump acknowledged.
Rabat – US President Donald Trump declared yesterday that a vaccine for the novel coronavirus will be available by the end of 2020, in a “virtual townhall meeting” with Fox News.
Since the coronavirus outbreak began, scientists have repeatedly warned that developing a vaccine will take at least 12 months.
“Now, the doctors will say, ‘Well you shouldn’t say that.’ I’ll say what I think … I think we’re going to have a vaccine much sooner rather than later,” President Trump said.
Multiple vaccine projects are underway around the world, as scientists race to deliver a vaccine as soon as possible.
According to the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, 110 laboratories have reached the pre-clinical phase in vaccine development, while only the American “Inovio Pharmaceuticals” has reached Phase II of vaccine development. Inovio is still two steps from delivering a licensed vaccine.
However, vaccine development usually takes years or decades to develop. The first vaccine to receive US FDA approval for Ebola only gained approval in 2019. Despite attempts to create one, there is still not a vaccine for HIV.
In April, Trump predicted 60,000 American lives would be lost. As of May 4, nearly 69,000 have died. Yesterday, Trump revised his estimate: “We’re going to lose anywhere from 75, 80 to 100,000 people. That’s a horrible thing.”
Trump brought up his complaint of China allowing COVID-19 to spread within the first two minutes of the interview, saying, “It came from China, it should have been stopped, it could have been stopped on the spot.”
He added, “They didn’t [stop it] for some reason, and we’re going to have to find what that reason was.”
On April 30, Trump claimed he had a “high degree of confidence” the virus originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The institute hosts the only Chinese laboratory with a biosafety level 4 where researchers study easily transmitted and fatal pathogens.
Trump’s statement was followed by a statement from the World Health Organization emergencies chief, Michael Ryan, in which he declared COVID-19 is of natural origin.
Scientists worldwide believe COVID-19 originated in bats and then infected another animal before jumping to humans. Researchers have not yet identified the intermediate host.