- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 11, 2020

President Trump on Tuesday told college football to “get out there” and play amid the coronavirus pandemic and that he wants players to stand for the national anthem once they hit the field.

“These are young, strong people. They won’t have a big problem with the China virus,” Mr. Trump said hours after the Big Ten conference announced it was postponing its fall athletics.

Mr. Trump says student-athletes deserve a shot to fulfill their dreams on the field, despite concerns about the rampant spread of COVID-19. He’s pointed to the relative health of young athletes and the fact the disease tends to kill older people or those with underlying conditions.

“They’ll be able to fight it off and hopefully it won’t bother them one bit,” Mr. Trump said.

“So college football, get out there and play football.”

He said college athletes and professionals, too, ought to stand for the “Star-Spangled Banner” at the start of games, resurrecting a spat he had with NFL players earlier in his administration amid protests over racial injustice.

Also Tuesday, Mr. Trump said his administration has secured 100 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine candidate developed by Moderna, Inc., adding the Massachusetts company to the roster of providers agreed to provide doses while the shots are still being tested.

The administration said Moderna will be manufacturing the doses even as they wait for the results of massive, Phase 3 human trials.

The government is also putting in place efforts to fill the vaccines in U.S. facilities and have them ready as soon as they earn approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

The administration has secured similar deals with other leading pharmaceutical companies to ensure hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine will be available once they get regulatory sign-off, likely at the end of this year or early 2021.

“In creating a vaccine portfolio for Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration is increasing the likelihood that the United States will have at least one safe, effective vaccine by 2021,” Health Secretary Alex Azar said. “Today’s investment represents the next step in supporting this vaccine candidate all the way from early development by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health, through clinical trials, and now large-scale manufacturing, with the potential to bring hundreds of millions of safe and effective doses to the American people.”

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