Monday 4 May 2020

Trump says the US will have a COVID-19 vaccine 'by the end of the YEAR', reveals 'victim' Boris Johnson told him 'he thought it was all over' and continues to tout controversial anti-malaria drug

Trump says the US will have a COVID-19 vaccine 'by the end of the year'

President Donald Trump expressed optimism that there would be a coronavirus vaccine by the conclusion of 2020.  

'We are very confident that we are going to have a vaccine by the end of the year,' he said last night. 

He hailed companies racing to find a drug and said the United States was working with Australian and UK partners in an international effort to beat the disease. 

Trump offered the ray of hope to Fox News Channel anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, who were hosting a virtual town hall Sunday night from the Lincoln Memorial. 

But the president's enthusiasm faded as he made a bleak forecast up to 100,000 people could die from COVID-19 in the U.S. 

As he gears up for November's election, Trump also swiped at Democrats who he accused of rather seeing people suffer than allow him to take credit.

President Trump was joined by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (left) and Vice President Mike Pence (center left) for the end of the two-hour town hall

During the two-hour Q&A, where Americans asked Trump questions via video, he was joined by Vice President Mike Pence and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for the last 30 minutes. 

Hope Hicks, Trump's longtime aide who recently rejoined the White House, and new Chief of Staff Mark Meadows were seen at the president's side during commercial breaks.  The president's new press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, was also on hand.  

Throughout the town hall, he came back to his claim that the coronavirus vaccine was coming in 2020.  

'We think we'll have a vaccine by the end of this year. And we're pushing very hard. We're building supply lines now and we don't even have the final vaccine,' Trump said. 

He pointed to Johnson & Johnson as one company making a dent. 'Many companies, I think, are close,' he told the Fox News Channel hosts. 

Admitting that it didn't sound like his usual 'America First' rhetoric, Trump answered, 'I don't care,' when asked how he would feel if another country developed a successful vaccine first. 

'I really just want to get a vaccine that works,' the president said.  

He added that the U.S. was working alongside Australia and also the United Kingdom, and brought up Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who became extremely ill from COVID-19. 

'He thought it was over, it was vicious,' Trump said. 

The president said he wasn't worried about people volunteering for vaccine trials. 

'No, because they're volunteers,' Trump said. 'They know what they're getting into,' he added, calling those who sign up 'good people.'   

The president said he'd like to see therapeutics, too, that would work to cure patients who have COVID-19. 

'I would rather have therapeutics, something to make people better, not a cure, at least a therapeutic,' Trump said.  

Most recently, the Federal Drug Administration authorized the use of the anti-viral drug Remdesivir for COVID-19 cases. 

The president also continues to tout the anti-Malaria drug hydroxychloroquine. 

He pushed back when Baier mentioned some of the hydroxychloroquine's side effects.  'They're bragging about it,' Trump said of the successful doctors in other countries have seen using hydroxychloroquine. 

He then used that moment to attack his political opponents.   

'Here's what we've been reduced to in this country,' Trump began. 'The Democrats, the radical left, whatever you - would rather have people, I'm going to be very nice, I'm not going to say die - would rather see people not get well because they think I'm going to get credit if hydroxychloroquine works.'

'I have nothing to do with hydroxychloroquine,' the president went on, mentioning how some media reports suggested he owned the company that makes the drug. 'Other then, if it worked, it would be great.' 

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