On the debate stage on Thursday night, President Donald Trump went further than he has ever gone in predicting the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, declaring that “it’s ready” and “it’s going to be announced within weeks.”
His assessment counters the consistent message from the president’s own public health officials, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has said a COVID-19 vaccine is unlikely to be widely available until 2021, and that masks and social distancing measures are likely to be in place until later that year.
Pressed on that by the debate moderator, NBC’s Kristen Welker, Trump said, “my timeline’s going to be more accurate.” And asked whether he was offering a guarantee, Trump said he wasn’t—“but it will be by the end of the year.”
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