Dr. Fauci says it’s a matter of “when not if” in regards to a COVID-19 vaccine
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, has consistently been the voice of reason since the coronavirus outbreak began earlier this year. You cannot rely on President Trump for any reasonable updates about the virus, so you turn to Fauci, who gives you the facts, whether those facts are pleasant or not. This is why when Fauci says that there could be a coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year, we know that this isn’t Trump’s “toxic optimism” speaking, this is Fauci — the bearer of reasonable and factual news.
Testifying before Congress at a hearing of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on the topic of the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic (via USA Today), Fauci stated that he believes a publicly available vaccine will arrive by the end of 2020 or the “beginning of 2021.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci says one potential coronavirus vaccine that has shown "some very favorable responses" in animal models will enter a Phase 3 study in July: "We feel cautiously optimistic" https://t.co/ucYEPfMiNt pic.twitter.com/aXM9ixJOKG
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 23, 2020
“We feel cautiously optimistic, based on the concerted effort and the fact we are taking financial risks — not risks to safety, not risks to the integrity of the science, but financial risk to be able to be ahead of the game — so that when, and I believe it will be when and not if, we get favorable candidates with good results, we will be able to make them available to the American public,” Fauci stated. “It would put us at the end of this calendar year and the beginning of 2021.”
MarketWatch reports that nearly two dozen different companies are working on vaccines (or COVID-19 treatments), though Fauci reports that the front-runner is Moderna, which is planning to test the vaccine on 30,000 people starting in July. Obviously, Fauci’s timeline relies on everything going to plan, but he also stated that there are a number of other companies that are just behind Moderna in terms of speedy development. Also, Fauci’s statement that companies are facing “financial risk” to produce the vaccines means that these companies are mass producing the vaccine at the same time that they develop it, which means that once the vaccine is safe to use on the public, it’s ready to go.
Fauci’s newfound optimism regarding the vaccines is heartening (he said a coming vaccine is a matter “when not if”) considering that back in March, Fauci said that it would likely take 12-18 months to develop a vaccine.
As the country begins to reopen and COVID-19 cases are spiking in places like Florida, Texas, and Arizona, Fauci emphasized the need for communities to wear masks and to reopen reasonably, but ultimately said that when it comes to eradicating this virus, it’s going to boil down to vaccines, with Fauci calling a vaccine the “nail in the coffin” to end the pandemic.
Calling the surge in those states “very troublesome,” Fauci didn’t mince words. “The next couple of weeks are going to be critical in our ability to address those surges we are seeing in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and other states,” he said.