In the last month, President Donald Trump has urged states to send children back to school, demanded governors reopen their economies, and called for lockdowns to be ended. He has pushed forward with that strategy by, in part, telling Americans that the U.S. will likely have a coronavirus vaccine in the next few months, if not sooner.
“We’re going to have a vaccine soon,” Trump said during a press conference with reporters Thursday afternoon. “It’s going to be much sooner than you think.”
But top health officials in his administration admitted this week that “there’s no way of knowing” when a vaccine will be available and that it could take another nine months to produce. On a call with the nation’s governors Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar spoke to state leaders about the constraints the U.S. faces in getting out a vaccine for public use. Azar said there are certain thresholds that clinical trials have to meet in order to convince scientists that what they are developing is working.