Trump was asked about a timeline for a vaccine during the Cabinet Room meeting with pharmaceutical executives and members of his task force.
“I don’t know what the time will be. I’ve heard very quick numbers, that of months. And I’ve heard pretty much a year would be an outside number. So I think that’s not a bad range. But if you’re talking about three to four months in a couple of cases, a year in other cases,” Trump said.
But Dr. Antony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, immediately corrected the President: “Let me make sure you get the … information. A vaccine that you make and start testing in a year is not a vaccine that’s deployable.”
As Fauci explained the timeline, Trump folded his arms.
Fauci said: “So he’s asking the question — when is it going to be deployable? And that is going to be, at the earliest, a year to a year and a half, no matter how fast you go.”
“Do you think that’s right?” Trump asked the pharmaceutical executives at the table, just as Fauci finished speaking. “Well, I think treatment in many ways might be more exciting.”
The pushback didn’t come just from Fauci.
Throughout the meeting, Trump was hyperfocused on pressing industry leaders in the room for a timeline for a coronavirus vaccine and treatment. But experts at the table — from the administration and the pharmaceutical industry — repeatedly emphasized that a vaccine can’t be rushed to market before it’s been declared safe for the public.
“So you’re talking over the next few months, you could have a vaccine?” Trump later asked Stéphane Bancel, the CEO of Moderna, a biotechnology comp