President Trump said Friday the nation is “rounding the corner” on the coronavirus that’s killed over 187,000 in the U.S. and he expects to see results of late-stage vaccine trials as soon as next month.
“We think we could probably have it sometime during the month of October,” Mr. Trump told reporters.
Mr. Trump was referring to comments from the CEO of Pfizer, Inc., who said data from Phase 3 trials may be available by late October.
“They’re all in final stages and I think you’re gonna see results that are shockingly good,” Mr. Trump said.The president cited efforts by Pfizer and fellow companies Moderna, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson.
A British drugmaker, AstraZeneca, is also far along in development.
Experts say the distribution of shots before Election Day — Nov. 3 — isn’t realistic, though Democrats say the president’s comments make them skittish. They fear political pressure will force regulators to cut corners, despite the Food and Drug Administration’s repeated insistence they will resist any arm-twisting.
Transmission of the virus remains high, particularly in the Midwest, and the virus is roiling colleges’ attempts to open for the fall semester.
Still, the seven-day rolling average of cases is down to 40,500 per day compared to nearly 60,000 at the start of August.
“We’re rounding the corner, we’re rounding the corner on the virus,” Mr. Trump said.
The president suggested other countries are under-reporting their death tolls.
“I say, ‘Gimme a break,’” Mr. Trump said.
He said the U.S. would look better if New York’s 33,000 deaths was taken out. He argued the state mishandled the response. That might make the per-capita death toll look more flattering but the U.S. would still lead Brazil, at about 125,000 deaths, in the official tally.