The president of the United States, Donald Trump, assured this Tuesday that his government is “very close” to approving a vaccine against the coronavirus, the same day that Russia registered the first in the world.
Without citing the Kremlin announcement, Trump referred to the efforts to approve the vaccine just to begin the almost daily press conference in which he reports on the state of the coronavirus in the country, which already exceeds 5.1 million cases and touches 165,000 dead.
“We are investing in the development and manufacture of the six main candidates to ensure their rapid distribution, and the Armed Forces are ready, ready to deliver the vaccine to Americans as soon as the first one is fully approved,” said the president.
“And we are very close to that approval,” he added.
Trump promised that by the time one of the candidates is approved, 100 million doses will be available to vaccinate Americans and also said that “shortly after” 500 million more will be produced.
In fact, at the same press conference, Trump announced a new agreement with Moderna, one of the pharmaceutical companies that are closest to completing the tests with its vaccine, to acquire 100 million doses when it is approved. Moderna, meanwhile, reported that the contract amounts to about $ 1.5 billion.
According to the US President, his government’s efforts to obtain the vaccine are “the largest and most advanced operation of this type in the world and in history.”
Although Trump neither referred nor was asked about the Russian vaccine, the White House epidemiologist Anthony Fauci did. “I hope the Russians have definitely proven that the vaccine is safe and effective. I seriously doubt that they have, ”he warned. Days ago, the renowned expert had expressed his confidence that US institutions would stay out of the political pressures of the race for the vaccine and would only approve formulas that meet the requirements of scientific protocol.
For his part, the head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – the government agency in charge of giving the go-ahead to the vaccine – Scott Gottlieb, hinted that the Kremlin’s announcement “may be another effort to fan doubts or incite the US to force early action ”.
Meanwhile, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, issued warnings along the same lines. From Taiwan, the minister told ABC that “the point is not to be the first, the point is to have a safe and effective vaccine for Americans and for the people of the world” and demanded “transparent data” from the Kremlin.
Azar also said he hopes to have “tens of millions” of doses available by December, past the November presidential elections.