President Donald Trump on Monday asked pharmaceutical companies to accelerate development of vaccines for the new coronavirus.
Trump, speaking in Washington, will meet with executives from the companies later on Monday at the White House along with members of his Coronavirus Task Force.
The discussion will center around a vaccine or a cure for the new virus, which causes a disease called COVID-19. Twenty-three new cases were reported in the United States over the weekend, including the first two deaths from the new disease.
“Weve asked them to accelerate whatever theyre doing in terms of a vaccine,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.
The meeting was prescheduled and originally intended to be about drug prices, the president said. His administration, he said, has brought drug prices down for the first time in 51 years.
Trump and other top officials told Americans on Saturday that the risk to the American public from the new virus remains low. “The American public needs to go on with their normal lives,” Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said.
“Healthy individuals are likely to recover,” Trump said.
Federal officials and some companies are working on creating vaccines for the virus, with several in development. Trials for a vaccine are expected to start in about six weeks, a top official said on Feb. 25. Moderna, a U.S.-based company, sent the first batch of an experimental vaccine earlier that day.
Development of a vaccine takes time, with a phase one trial of around three months followed by a wider phase two trial of at least six months.
If a vaccine passes the trials, it takes additional time to scale up for major distribution.
Testing is also being done in other countries on possible vaccines, includinRead More – Source