WEDNESDAY, June 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) — There could be a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of this year or early next year, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, infectious diseases chief at the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
Testifying before a House committee on Tuesday, Fauci said he’s cautiously optimistic about a vaccine being available in that timeframe, but also mentioned struggles to contain the coronavirus, the Associated Press reported.
“We’ve been hit badly,” Fauci said, adding that he’s “really quite concerned” about rising community spread in some states.
Fauci testified along with other top health officials, and none said they’d been asked to slow down testing for the new coronavirus, even though President Donald Trump has said he asked them to do so because testing was uncovering too many infections, the AP reported.
“We will be doing more testing,” Fauci told the committee.
So far, more than 27 million people in the U.S. have been tested, and 8.4% (about 2.3 million) have tested positive. About 2.3 million have become ill and about 120,000 have died, Johns Hopkins University data show, the AP reported.
“There have been a lot of unfortunate missteps in the Trump administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D) of New Jersey said during the hearing.
“As communities across the country ease social distancing guidance and reopen their economies, it is critically important that both the administration and Congress remain focused on containing the spread of the coronavirus and providing the resources and support Americans need during this time of crisis,” Pallone said.
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