Trump says coronavirus vaccine could be ready in a month


PHILADELPHIA, Sept 16, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – President Donald Trump said Tuesday
that a coronavirus vaccine may be available within a month — an acceleration
of even his own surprisingly optimistic predictions — but added that the
pandemic could go away by itself.

“We’re very close to having a vaccine,” he told a town hall question-and-
answer session with voters in Pennsylvania aired on ABC News.

“We’re within weeks of getting it you know — could be three weeks, four
weeks,” he said.

Only hours earlier, speaking to Fox News on Tuesday morning, Trump had said
a vaccine could come in “four weeks, it could be eight weeks.”

Democrats have expressed concern that Trump is putting political pressure
on government health regulators and scientists to approve a rushed vaccine in
time to help turn around his uphill bid for reelection against challenger Joe
Biden on November 3.

Experts including top US government infectious diseases doctor Anthony
Fauci say vaccine approval is more likely toward the end of the year.

At the ABC town hall Trump was asked why he’d downplayed the gravity of the
Covid-19 pandemic, which has now killed close to 200,000 people in the US.

Trump replied by saying: “I didn’t downplay it. I actually, in many ways, I
up-played it in terms of action.”

But Trump himself told journalist Bob Woodward during taped interviews for
the new book “Rage” — published Tuesday — that he had deliberately decided
to “play it down” to avoid alarming Americans.