Donald Trump says he is “very confident” that a coronavirus vaccine will be developed by the end of the year.
The President appeared at a prime time virtual town hall hosted by the Fox News network in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.
Its own scientific advisers have always agreed with international experts that a vaccine could take 12 to 18 months to appear.
But the president took an optimistic tone. “We are confident that we will receive a vaccine at the end of the year.
“We think we are going to have a vaccine by the end of this year and we are pushing very hard.
“We are pushing the supply lines. Many companies are, I think, close. “
Trump said that finding a vaccine was an international effort and he would not care if another country was the first to find the solution. “I’m going to take my hat off. “
The two-hour event was marked “Back to Work,” as Trump pushed his plan for states to reopen their economies.
“We have to reopen it safely, but as quickly as possible. “
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In the week that saw the highest national death toll nationwide over a 24-hour period in the United States – 2,909 deaths reported on Friday – the president again defended his administration’s response.
” Everything is working. It’s horrible to cross, but it works. “
Trump again blamed authorities China for what he described as their failure to sound the alarm over the virus.
He said earlier this week that he saw evidence that the virus had emerged from the Wuhan virology laboratory.
When asked if he alleged “something harmful,” he said he thought it was the result of a “mistake.”
Trump promised that more details on the origins of the epidemic would soon be released by US intelligence, but did not provide any details.
Trump has been charged with ignoring repeated warnings about the risks of the virus in his daily presidential briefings in January. He said he was told “it doesn’t matter”.
With exactly six months to go before the presidential election, Trump has lamented how the lockdown prevented him from holding electoral rallies.
But, appearing on one of his favorite television channels, he was able to tackle familiar campaign themes, including commerce and its border wall.
He also described a phone call to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson after he recovered from a “vicious” battle against the coronavirus. “He thought it was over,” said Trump.