A COVID-19 vaccine could be ready as early as the end of 2020 or early 2021, according to White House coronavirus taskforce adviser Dr Anthony Fauci.
The government’s top infectious disease expert testified at a House committee on Tuesday that he believes “it will be when and not if” a vaccine for Covid-19 would be available.
Dr Fauci’s outlook on a vaccine came as the number of coronavirus-related deaths in the US fell for the fourth consecutive day.
“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 favourable candidates with good results, we will be able to make them available to the American public,” Dr Fauci testified.
“It would put us at the end of this calendar year and the beginning of 2021.”
The World Health Organisation on Tuesday reported that the United State’s daily death toll has been declining over the past four days, from 770 on Friday to 733 on Saturday and 690 on Sunday. There were 558 on Monday and 308 deaths on Tuesday.
The downward trend in US coronavirus deaths came as Dr Fauci testified to the House Energy and Commerce Committee alongside FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield, and Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir.
They testified that Donald Trump has not asked them to slow down testing after the president said during his Tulsa rally that the White House coronavirus task force was told to slow down testing because it was uncovering too many infections.