President Donald Trump said during a Fox News town hall on Sunday night that he was “confident” the US would have a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year, despite estimates from health experts that it could be 12 to 18 months before one is readily available to the public.
He added that companies like Johnson & Johnson, one of more than 70 firms around the world working to develop a coronavirus vaccine, were getting close to having a vaccine ready for public use.
“We are very confident that we’ll have a vaccine by the end of the year,” Trump said at the virtual town hall.
“We think we are going to have a vaccine by the end of this year,” he said. “We’re pushing very hard.”
“Many companies are, I think, close,” he said.
Though companies are moving forward on vaccines at record speed, health experts have estimated that the development and distribution of a vaccine could take 12 to 18 months.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in March that the process would take “a year, a year and a half, at least.”
Trump acknowledged the ambitiousness of his projection, saying at the town hall
“The doctors would say, ‘Well you shouldn’t say that.’ But I’ll say what I think.”