On May 3, President Donald Trump said that he was confident that a vaccine for the coronavirus will be available by the end of the year. President Trump's timeline is advance from the projections laid out by his administration's public health advisors who all stated that the vaccine may take up to 18 months to develop.
Vaccine by the end of 2020
Trump stated during Fox News town hall at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington that they are confident that they are going to have a vaccine at the end of the year. He added that they are pushing very hard to have the vaccine developed as fast as possible. However, public health officials said that vaccines take many years to develop and distribute around the world.
President Trump said that he thinks pharmaceutical companies like Johnson & Johnson are close to creating a vaccine for the virus. Johnson & Johnson has partnered with the Department of Health and Human Services to create a vaccine and they are hoping for approval in early 2021.
The researchers at Oxford University are also working on a vaccine, and if it gets approved, it could be widely used and distributed by September of this year. According to the World Health Organization, there are currently dozens of coronavirus vaccines in development.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that a vaccine could take 18 months to develop, though he added that it was possible to speed the process up.
Affecting the reelection chances
President Donald Trump is up for reelection this year, and because of the economic toll done by the virus, his path is growing steeper. All of the job losses in America since the start of the pandemic have already wiped out all of the gains made during the economic recovery from the 2008 financial crisis.
Economists have stated that businesses will only return if consumers are already confident enough to step outside and return to the routines. That scenario would require a vaccine or an effective treatment for the virus.
In January 2020, Trump stated that he had the virus under control, however, numerous sources claim that he ignored the warnings of health experts. Now that Trump is in the hot seat and his reelection chances are slim, he has tasked his administration to create an "Operation Warp Speed" to cut down the time that it takes to develop a vaccine. The said project has a goal of having 300 million doses of a vaccine ready by January 2021.
COVID-19 has now infected more than 3 million people worldwide and 1 million people in the U.S. It has killed more than 65,000 Americans. The U.S has also suffered its deadliest day since the outbreak began, with almost 3,000 dead in just 24 hours.
President Trump said that his forecast for the number of Americans who will die from the virus has increased. He said that even at the upper end of his projections, millions of people will be saved by government measures, compared to the outcome that would have been had there been no lockdown.