On Sunday, President Trump participated in a Fox News virtual town hall at the Lincoln Memorial. The event was hosted by Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, and featured questions from Americans across the country.
39-year-old Danny Lemos, who survived a harrowing battle with COVID-19 and credits the drug remdesivir with his recovery, asked President Trump the following: “With the FDA approving remdesivir as a drug of choice to help fight this, which is the drug I was on, what are we gonna do and put in place to make sure that there’s enough of this drug available for everybody?”
It’s a great question because it’s a very hard drug to make, and it takes a period of time, and is made by Gilead, and I know that … Danny, I believe, gave a lot of credit to that drug for saving his life. We are pushing it really hard. We’re also pushing something else, the vaccines. We are very confident that we’re going to have a vaccine at the end of the year, by the end of the year, have a vaccine.
After Baier pressed him on the vaccine claim, the president repeated himself:
We think we’re going to have a vaccine by the end of this year, and we’re pushing very hard. You know, we’re building supply lines now – we don’t even have the final vaccine … if you look at, Johnson & Johnson is doing it. We have many companies are, I think, close because I meet with the heads of them and I find it a very interesting subject because it’s so important, but I think we’ll have a vaccine by the end of the year.
BREAKING: President Trump: “We think we’re going to have a Vaccine by the end of this year.” pic.twitter.com/Pw1QSnzrwY
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) May 3, 2020
President Trump is likely referring to the administration’s alleged “Operation Warp Speed,” which would fast-track multiple vaccine candidates.
According to Bloomberg, the operation “will use government resources to quickly test the world’s most promising experimental vaccines in animals, then launch coordinated human clinical trials to winnow down the candidates. The best prospective vaccines would go into wider trials at the same time mass production ramps up.”
On Thursday, Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke about the “Warp Speed” vaccine process with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie.
“The question is, you always have to say you want to get a vaccine that is safe, and that’s effective, and that you could scale up rapidly,” Fauci stated.
So what the plan is right now … we’re in the early phases of a trial, Phase 1. When you go into the next phase, we’re going to safely and carefully, but as quickly as we possibly can, try and get an answer as to whether it works and is safe, and if so, we’re going to start ramping up production with the companies involved, and you do that at risk.
“In other words, you don’t wait until you get an answer before you start manufacturing. You, at risk, proactively start making it assuming it’s going to work, and if it does, then you could scale up and hopefully get to that timeline,” Fauci added.
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