President Donald Trump on Tuesday morning revealed that the COVID-19 vaccine will be completed in the near future.
“I want the vaccine fast,” the president said in an interview with Fox News. “You wouldn’t have a vaccine for years … I speeded up the process with the FDA … We’re going to have a vaccine in a matter of weeks, it could be four weeks, it could be eight weeks … we have a lot of great companies.”
In the interview, Trump said that the United States is starting to make headway on the virus. So far, more than 190,000 people are reported to have died and more than 6 million have reportedly contracted the disease.
“We’re rounding the turn on the pandemic,” Trump said. “Texas is coming down, Florida is doing great.”
Earlier this month, Trump told reporters in a Sept. 4 briefing that the U.S. is “on track to deliver a vaccine … maybe even before November 1st.” He added: “We think we can probably have it sometime during the month of October.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated previously that companies involved in the COVID-19 vaccine trials should be ready to start sending out vaccines by Nov. 1.
Trump’s vaccine comment comes as top Democrats have tried to downplay its efficacy and safety, citing the accelerated process. Biden and vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris, a senator from California, have voiced concerns about whether Trump has exerted political pressure to complete a CCP virus vaccine ahead of the November election.
Trump said that he is not pushing for the creation of a CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus vaccine “for political reasons.”
Earlier, Harris told CNN that she “will not take [Trump’s] word for it” on the vaccine. “I would want to see what the scientists said,” Biden also told reporters about a possible vaccine.
Harris and Biden were criticized by GOP officials for making irresponsible statements.
Trump, namely, said in a news conference on Labor Day that Harris’s comments are “so bad for this country … So bad for the world to even say that.”
“She’s talking about disparaging a vaccine, so people don’t think the achievement was a great achievement,” Trump added. “I don’t want the achievement for myself. I want something that will make people better.”
Last week, drugmaker AstraZeneca halted its trials for a CCP virus vaccine last week when one subject became sick. But the firm has since resumed its trials after getting a go-ahead from U.S. safety watchdogs. Reports said there are as many as three vaccine candidates.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said when a vaccine has been around for a while, it will mean less disruption.
“I think it’s going to be a combination of a vaccine that has been around for almost a year and good public-health measures,” Fauci said in an interview this week. “I would think by the time we get to the end of 2021—maybe even the middle of 2021.”