UPDATED 9/17, 10:30 a.m. ET: Hours after the head of the CDC spoke about a COVID-19 vaccine and the possibility of a Q3 2021 return to “regular life,” Trump, of course, contradicted him. The president’s always-unscientific opinion is that the U.S. will have the ability to distribute “at least 100 million” doses of the vaccine before 2020’s over, and “a large number” even sooner.
"We’re all set to distribute immediately. We are set to—it could be in October, or in November. It could be later than that, but I think it will be in October," Trump said. "We will be able to distribute at least 100 million vaccine doses by the end of 2020. And a large number much sooner than that.”
"I think he made a mistake when he said that. It’s just incorrect information. That is incorrect information,” Trump said of CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield. "Under no circumstance will it be as late as the doctor said."
Redfield on Wednesday also noted in his Senate testimony, "We have clear scientific evidence [masks] work, and they are our best defense. I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine."
Trump flat-out said Redfield “made a mistake” there, too, and was confused by the questions. “It’s not more effective by any means than a vaccine and I called him about that, those were the two things I discussed with him,” Trump said. "I believe if you asked him he would probably say that he didn't understand the question.”
See original story below.
On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the U.S. should be able to secure enough doses of COVID-19 vaccine to get the country back to "regular life" by the third quarter of 2021.
That organization's director, Dr. Robert Redfield, relayed his expectation to a Senate panel that vaccines should be ready by November or December of this year. However, the catch to that is that the vaccine would only be available in limited quantities that would be given to people to certain people, like healthcare workers for instance. As for the timeframe to get the American public at large vaccinated, Redfield pegged that at around "six to nine months."
"If you’re asking me when is it going to be generally available to the American public so we can begin to take advantage of vaccine to get back to our regular life, I think we’re probably looking at third ... late second quarter, third quarter 2021" Redfield said to the panel, according to CNBC.
He added that this would still be a very quick response, telling senators that the Trump administration's coronavirus vaccine program, Operation Warp Speed, was/is churning at an unprecedented speed. He added that vaccines usually take about four-to-six years to complete.
For those thinking they may have somehow missed some really big news, an approved vaccine does not yet exist. At the moment, a trio of companies are in the late-stages of testing. Those drugmakers should know if those inoculations work by the end of this year.
Earlier on Tuesday, the CDC also outlined its mass distribution plan, stating that COVID-19 vaccines would be free for all Americans.
The current government plan is to get the vaccine to sites where it'll be distributed within one day of the FDA granting an emergency authorization/approval. As larger quantities are made available, the CDC intends to allow for widespread access while also making sure that target populations (people most likely to deal with severe complications/death) are the first to get it.
Just a few days ago, Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested that the return of "normal life" (which we can surmise is the thing most people are interested in) probably won't come until the end of 2021. Similarly to Redfield's timeline, he also believed a vaccine could be completed by late 2020/early 2021, but that it will take awhile to dole it out.
"But by the time you mobilize the distribution of the vaccine and get a majority or more of the population vaccinated and protected, that's likely not going to happen until the end of 2021," Fauci said. "If you’re talking about getting back to a degree of normality prior to COVID, it’s going to be well into 2021, towards the end of 2021."