President Trump predicts coronavirus vaccine will be widely available as soon as April

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ASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — President Donald Trump said on Friday he expects a coronavirus vaccine to be available for the entire population as soon as April, amid a crush of new infections of the deadly disease that has pushed daily case counts to record highs.

President Trump also said he expects an emergency use authorization for Pzifer’s vaccine “extremely soon.”

They were his first public remarks since Joe Biden was called by the Associated Press as the winner of the presidential election Saturday. Trump has avoided public gatherings since Election Day and has declined to concede the election to President-elect Joe Biden.

“This administration will not be going to a lockdown,” he said. “Hopefully whatever happens in the future, who knows, which administration it will be, I guess time will tell, but I can tell you this administration will not go to a lockdown.”

Trump received a briefing on Operation Warp Speed earlier Friday. The briefing comes just days after both California and Texas hit more than one million confirmed coronavirus cases.

One of the major vaccine efforts showed promising results this week. Pfizer Inc said on Monday its experimental COVID-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective based on interim data from late stage trials. The data were seen as a crucial step in the battle to contain a pandemic that has killed more than a million people.

President-elect Joe Biden released a statement shortly before President Trump’s remarks:

Today, I met with the co-chairs of the transition COVID-19 Advisory Board, Dr. Vivek Murthy, Dr. David Kessler, and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith. 

They briefed me on the accelerating public health crisis. The facts they presented were alarming. Our country is experiencing surges in reported infections, hospitalizations, and fatalities all over the country, with virtually nowhere getting spared. Our doctors, nurses, and other health care workers are under enormous — and growing — strain. This week’s news on progress toward a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is positive, but it will be many months before there is widespread vaccination in this country. 

This crisis demands a robust and immediate federal response, which has been woefully lacking. I am the president-elect, but I will not be president until next year. The crisis does not respect dates on the calendar, it is accelerating right now. Urgent action is needed today, now, by the current administration — starting with an acknowledgment of how serious the current situation is. Resources for frontline health care workers, including personal protective equipment that is again in short supply. Surge capacity for hospitals that are at risk of running out of beds. Clear, science-based guidance for states, cities, tribal communities, businesses, and schools that are trying to manage the pandemic. Effective distribution of testing kits and supplies, as well as treatments and therapeutics. Making a priority of dealing with persistent race-based disparities in this pandemic.

Today, I renew my call for every American, regardless of where they live or who they voted for, to step up and do their part on social distancing, hand washing, and mask wearing to protect themselves and to protect others. I understand it’s not easy. I know people are tired. But this will not go on forever. We are moving toward a vaccine. We are improving our ability to test. We are developing better treatments. We can get through this — and come out the other side stronger. But right now is a moment for shared responsibility and shared action. Together, we have the power to rein in this virus. And I promise you, from the moment I am sworn in on January 20, I will do everything in my power to lead this unified national effort.

PRESIDENT-ELECT JOE BIDEN

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