Fauci: 'Cautiously optimistic' USA could have coronavirus vaccine by late fall

Henrietta Brewer
August 1, 2020

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, testified in the House that a vaccine could be developed by the end of the year.

"You should stay away from crowds, no matter where the crowds are", Fauci said during the combative parley.

This week, as the death toll reached 150,000 in the US, the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis heard testimony from the nation's top public health officials charged with leading the federal government's response to the pandemic. "And I'll stick by that statement", Fauci later said.

"So this is why I keep coming back for the overall social [well-being] of individuals, is let's all work together and find out how we can find common ground to get these schools open in a way that people are comfortable and their safe". "You make comments on dating, on baseball and everything you could imagine". "I'm just asking should we try to limit the protesting?" "When you're in a crowd, particularly if you're not wearing a mask, that induces the spread".

"I'm not favoring anybody over anybody", Fauci replied. Jordan asked. "And if you stood right outside of that same business and protested you wouldn't get arrested?"

The explanation was offered as Dr Fauci, who has become seen as the face of scientific advice on the pandemic given his senior government position and frequent television appearances, as giving evidence in a congressional committee.

President Donald Trump, some Republicans in Congress and several conservative media commentators have consistently pushed for the drug's use, many of them widely sharing a video this week extolling its virtues that was produced for the web with funding from the group Tea Party Patriots Action.

"So you're allowed to protest - millions of people on one day, in crowds, yelling, screaming - but you try to run your business, you get arrested?" "I didn't say protests do anything ..."

The hearing comes as the number of new COVID-19 cases keep appearing at a worrisome pace. Despite those advances, Dr. Fauci doesn't think the USA will have to "depend" on other countries for a vaccine though.

Why it matters: He was responding directly to a tweet from President Trump, who took to the platform during the hearing to repeat his claim that the US has reported the most cases in the world due to increased testing.

With another 69,000 cases recorded, the United States has seen a total of more than 4.5 million people known to have been infected since the start of the pandemic.

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