Trump, in a Thursday morning interview, promised to “rapidly” use the military “and other forces but we’re mobilizing our military on the basis that we do have a vaccine.”
“You know, it’s a massive job to give this vaccine. Our military is now being mobilized so at the end of the year we’re going to be able to give it to a lot of people very, very rapidly,” the president told Fox Business.
“We will have a tremendous force because assuming we get it, then you have to distribute it,” he added. “And unless you’re mobilized and ready, you’re not going to be able to do it for a long time. So we’re starting now.”
Trump said he expects a vaccine to be done by the end of the year, although some members of the White House task force on the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus have said it could take 12 to 18 months to complete. So far, more than 80,000 deaths have been attributed to the virus.
“We will lose over 100,000, perhaps, in this country,” the president told Fox Business on Thursday.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, of the White House coronavirus task force, told lawmakers on Tuesday that treatments or a vaccine for the virus are not feasible.
“The idea of having treatments available or a vaccine to facilitate reentry of students into the fall term would be something that would be a bit of a bridge too far,” Fauci said Tuesday, referring to whether schools will be able to reopen after summer ends. “The drug that has shown some degree of efficacy was modest and was in hospitalized patients.”
The pressure is on to staunch job losses after the U.S. unemployment rate soared to 14.7 percent in April, the highest since the Great Depression. Another nearly 3 million laid-off workers applied for unemployment benefits last week as the viral outbreak led more companies to slash jobs even though most U.S. states have begun to let some businesses reopen under certain restrictions.
Roughly 36 million people have now filed for jobless aid in the United States in the two months since harsh lockdown measures forced millions of businesses to close their doors and shrink their work forces, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday.
Many states are now lifting lockdowns, leading to tentative resumptions of commerce.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.