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President Trump delivers remarks on coronavirus vaccine

President Trump mentioned a vaccine would ship in weeks to susceptible populations, although the FDA hasn’t but been requested to grant the required emergency approvals.

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Friday hailed developments within the race for a vaccine for the resurgent coronavirus as he delivered his first public remarks since his defeat by President-elect Joe Biden, whilst he refuses to concede the election.

Trump spoke from the the Rose Backyard because the nation units information for confirmed instances of COVID-19, and as hospitalizations close to essential ranges and fatalities climb to the best ranges for the reason that spring. He mentioned a vaccine would ship in “a matter of weeks” to susceptible populations, although the Meals and Drug Administration has not but been requested to grant the required emergency approvals. As well as, there’s no data but as as to whether the vaccine labored in susceptible populations or solely in youthful, more healthy research volunteers.

Public well being specialists fear that Trump’s refusal to take aggressive motion on the pandemic or to coordinate with the Biden staff throughout the last two months of his presidency will solely worsen the consequences of the virus and hinder the nation’s capability to swiftly distribute a vaccine subsequent yr.

And as instances attain new heights, Trump’s marketing campaign prediction that the U.S. was “rounding the flip” on the pandemic has met a harsh actuality, together with his personal White Home turning into the main target of one more outbreak.

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Trump’s aggressive journey regardless of the virus has taken its toll on his protectors as nicely. The U.S. Secret Service is experiencing a major variety of instances, many believed to be linked to his rallies within the closing days of the marketing campaign, in accordance with one official.

White Home press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, in the meantime, mentioned Trump is “not even at that time but” in the case of conceding to Biden. Trump has leveled baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud, whilst his personal administration has mentioned there is no such thing as a proof to assist the claims. His aides counsel he’s merely making an attempt to maintain his base of supporters on his facet in defeat.

Trump spoke with conservative media on Friday, together with Fox Information’ Geraldo Rivera, suggesting he would acknowledge the loss solely after exhausting his authorized choices.

“, he informed me he was a realist,” Rivera mentioned. “He informed me he would do the best factor.”

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With greater than 100,000 new confirmed U.S. instances reported each day for greater than per week, Trump has been extra centered on monitoring the rollout of a vaccine, which received’t be broadly obtainable for months. He has fumed that Pfizer deliberately withheld an announcement about progress on its vaccine trial till after Election Day, in accordance with a White Home official who was not licensed to publicly remark and spoke on situation of anonymity. Pfizer mentioned it didn’t purposely withhold trial outcomes.

Trump, aiming to settle political scores, mentioned he wouldn’t ship vaccines to hard-hit New York till Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo indicators off, noting that the state has promised to do its personal assessment to make sure their security. “The governor will tell us when he’s prepared,” Trump mentioned.

Though the president has constantly performed down the pandemic, which has killed greater than 240,000 Individuals and contaminated greater than 10 million individuals within the U.S., public well being specialists expressed fear about Trump’s silence on the troubling spike in instances, in addition to his refusal to start coordination on virus points with Biden’s transition staff.

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“It’s a giant drawback,” mentioned Dr. Abraar Karan, a world well being specialist at Brigham and Ladies’s Hospital and Harvard Medical Faculty. “The transition isn’t going to occur till January, and we’re in a whole disaster proper now. We already know the place that is headed. … It’s not ok to say we’re going to attend till the subsequent president to deal with this.”

Trump hasn’t answered questions since earlier than Election Day. That hasn’t slowed his Twitter behavior, however he’s used it nearly completely in current days to rage over the election outcomes and unfold unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud.

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By late Thursday afternoon, Trump had tweeted or retweeted greater than three dozen occasions that day. Only one was associated to the virus — a retweet of a posting by Sen. David Perdue about Georgia receiving 2,000 vials of a brand new antibody remedy.

White Home chief of employees Mark Meadows examined constructive final week after attending an election evening occasion on the White Home. Others on the occasion even have examined constructive, together with White Home political director Brian Jack, former White Home aide Healy Baumgardner and Trump marketing campaign advisers David Bossie and Corey Lewandowski. Lewandowski mentioned Thursday that he believes he contracted the virus in Philadelphia whereas helping the president’s election problem there.

Biden, for his half, largely framed the election as a referendum on Trump’s dealing with of the pandemic. He has made addressing the virus his prime precedence as he strikes ahead together with his transition. He spoke by cellphone Thursday with Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Chief Chuck Schumer concerning the intensifying pandemic and prospects for passage of a COVID-19 reduction invoice within the lame duck session of Congress.

Incoming White Home chief of employees Ron Klain mentioned Biden will appoint a “COVID coordinator” who will lead the administration’s pandemic response. Klain, talking on MSNBC Thursday evening, mentioned the person may have “direct entry” to the president and can temporary him each day on the pandemic. A staff of individuals beneath the coordinator will supervise vaccine distribution, deal with provide chain disruptions and enhance entry to testing.

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Lawrence Gostin, a public well being professional at Georgetown College’s legislation faculty, mentioned Biden will solely be capable to “scratch the floor” of tackling a pandemic that might be a “raging forest fireplace” by the point he takes workplace on Jan. 20.

He added that even the excellent news on Pfizer’s growth of a vaccine that confirmed 90% efficacy in early trial outcomes might be diminished if Trump doesn’t start coordination efforts with Biden’s staff on methods to roll out the vaccine. Some public well being specialists consider the duty of persuading Individuals to take the vaccine and broadly distributing it might be as difficult because the vaccine’s growth.

“I concern the subsequent three months forward might be the worst we’ve confronted throughout the pandemic,” Gostin mentioned. “America is sort of a ship at storm, and the captain has determined to go play golf.”

Madhani reported from Chicago. Related Press writers Jill Colvin and Alexandra Jaffe contributed to this report.

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