Trump hails ‘tremendous progress’ on Covid-19 vaccine

President Donald Trump on Friday touted “tremendous progress” combating the coronavirus pandemic, saying development of therapeutics and vaccines is going “incredibly well.”

"In terms of transportation and logistics, we have over 2 million ready to go — if it checks out for safety,” Trump said of the handful of vaccines currently being developed and tested, none of which have yet been proven safe or effective against the virus.

The White House and HHS didn't elaborate on which company currently developing a vaccine had 2 million doses available.

“I said by the end of the year, I think it will be a lot sooner than that,” the president later added, referring to the availability of the vaccine and calling development of a vaccine in record time “easy.” Top health officials have said this timeline is possible, but far from certain.

Trump jumped from health care to the economy to protests against police violence, praising those states that have moved quickly to reopen their economies. He also inaccurately claimed that the U.S. leads the world in coronavirus cases because it leads the world in testing. Improved testing rates have found more cases.

“We want the lockdown to end for the states,” he said. “We may have some embers or some ashes or flames [of coronavirus] coming, but we will put them out, we will stomp them out.”

While the president spoke, CDC Director Robert Redfield tweeted that the coronavirus is “the most significant public health challenge to face our Nation in more than a century.”

“It is weaving its way through our social consciousness, our outward expression, and our grief,” Redfield wrote.

The U.S. currently has 1.88 million confirmed cases and 108,664 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

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