Trump says there might never be coronavirus vaccine moments after touting one

Donald Trump appeared to admit there may never be a coronavirus vaccine moments after vowing to have one ready well before the end of 2020.

Speaking outside the White House Friday, the president hailed what he claimed was America’s bright future, but then rowed-back. He said: ‘Vaccine or no vaccine, we’re back…what we’d like to do if we can is the vaccine. I think we’re going to be successful in doing it by the end of the year.’

Trump later confirmed his remarks by suggesting the US may have to ‘put out the fire’ of coronavirus if no vaccine arrives and the disease continues to spread. He said: We think we’re going to have the vaccine in the pretty near future. If we do, we’re going to be a big step ahead. If we don’t, we’re gong to be like so many other cases. where you had a problem you had a problem, it’ll come in.

The president continued: ‘It’ll go away at some point. It’ll go away. It may flare up, it may not flare up. You have to see what happens. But if it does flare up we’ll put out the fire. We’ll put it out quickly and efficiently. We’ve learned a lot….

‘A vaccine would be a tremendous thing, but therapeutically or therapeutics, what’s going on there is equally as impressive.’ Asked about distribution of any successful vaccine ater during the same press conference, President Trump added: ‘If we are skilled enough and fortunate enough to get a vaccine we’ll get it out at warp speed.’

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The president’s uncharacteristically cautious remarks came just minutes after he repeatedly touted the prospect of a preventative shot by the end of the year. He appeared to have been thrown off-message by the sound of truck horns outside his Washington.

Shortly before the horns began blaring, Trump announced that the United States is now researching 14 potential coronavirus vaccines through its newly formed coronavirus vaccine program, named Operation Warp Speed.

Trump said: ‘They have identified 14 that they believe are the most promising and they’re working to narrow that list further. We want to see if we can do that very quickly. When I say quickly, we are looking to get it before the end of the year if we can, maybe before. We’re doing tremendously-well.’ Experts have warned any vaccine is unlikely to be ready until 2021.

President Trump went on to vow that, once-developed, he will deploy every plane, truck and soldier available to the US government to distribute it as quickly as possible. Despite his tempered remarks, top US scientists including White House immunologist Dr Anthony Fauci have said they are hopeful a successful vaccine will be developed. Speaking to a US Senate committee earlier this week, the veteran medic said most sufferers’ ability to fight-off Covid-19 without medical assistance meant scientists would probably be able to stimulate a similar response from a shot.

President Trump previously faced criticism for touting the benefits of potential coronavirus treatments before they were properly tested. Anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine was hailed by the president, only for studies to subsequently show it was largely ineffective.

A fortnight ago, White House immunologist Dr Anthony Fauci announced that anti-viral drug Remdesivir had helped seriously-ill coronavirus patients recover around 33% faster than those not given it, with the drug now approved as an emergency treatment.

Coronavirus has infected at least 1.45 million people across the United States, and killed over 86,000.

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