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by Sharon Rondeau

Screenshot: Global News

(May 15, 2020) — At 12:40 p.m. EDT, President Trump addressed the nation from the Rose Garden on an accelerated timeline to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus, or COVID-19.

The endeavor will be a public-private partnership, Trump said, a method his administration employed to deliver COVID-19 testing capabilities to all U.S. communities over the last two months.

He said that 350,000 tests are now being conducted daily.

Trump was joined by NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, who was wearing a face mask due to possible exposure, in addition to White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, who also wore a mask.  Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley, HHS Secretary Alex Azar, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and others were also present.

Trump said that on January 11, 2020, his administration began the development of a COVID vaccine just after the “genetic code” was made public and before the first known U.S. COVID illness was known or identified.

There are 130 “active trials” of potential medications proceeding to fight the virus, Trump said, thanking FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn for quickly approving them.

“Operation Warp Speed” is a “massive endeavor,” Trump said, comparing it to the World War II-era Manhattan Project.  The purpose is to produce a COVID vaccine “as soon as possible,” perhaps “by the end of the year,” he said.

He said the military will be “totally involved” in the project, along with federal agencies and private corporations.  Leading the new task force is a world-renowned immunologist, Trump said, and Gen. Gus Perna, a three-star general who oversees “logistics.”

Trump has previously exhibited optimism about the availability of a vaccine by the end of the year, although Fauci has appeared more skeptical.  Trump repeated that assertion today.

“We’re going to have a tremendous year next year,” Trump said, following a upward “fourth quarter” as the country reopens for business following the pandemic.

“I think we’re going to come up with a solution to a problem like this country probably has never seen before,” Trump said, complimenting those immediately around him for “doing a great job.”

Both Milley and Esper said they are determined to see that a vaccine will be available by the end of the year.  Both expressed the fight against the virus in terms of a war.

At 1:03, Trump took questions from reporters.

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  1. I haven’t trusted Fauci from the get-go. And now it seems that he has more information than he was letting on. Also, how is it that a person with so much experience could have been so “deceived” by the claims that there was no human to human transmission? Makes no sense.

  2. Kandy,
    I don’t think that the president is going back on anything (I hope), he is merely playing the game, giving a little and not falling into the political no-man’s land with everyone claiming he is an anti-vaxer or whatever they’d choose to say. Vaccines years ago were different than they are now, and I’m sure he’s aware of it. Basically ALL of them now contain mercury, formaldehyde, or aluminum; all of which are deleterious to various bodily functions and systems.

    Larger pharma companies would rather buy the cheaper (read: subsidized; read: subsidized for a reason) ingredients mentioned above.

    As an example of his scope, if he hadn’t reinstated the manufacture of tungsten light bulbs, we’d have really not noticed. He said he didn’t like the “green”/toxic bulbs because they make him look orange…but I would guess from his comments that he had a group that analyzed the toxicity of CFL’s, and possibly the danger of LED’s in terms of electromagnetic field intensity and danger to optic nerve, and did what he did. He didn’t have to do that.

    It doesn’t really get any press, but if you look at the recommended procedure for cleaning up if you break a CFL, it’s easier to just move; very fine mercury dust fills the air and gets circulated through AC. And, as with any GREENER technology, CFL’s cannot be easily disposed of, and proper disposal is expensive. And again, we’re talking about mercury. And I recommend that at the very least, you get rid of any CFL bulbs you have. They are manufactured (poorly) in China and have been found to have leaks, in almost all cases in which they’ve been tested.

  3. Rushing a vaccine of any kind is going to kill and maim more people than it helps. Happened in 1976 when Pres. Gerald Ford rushed the development of a vaccine for the phony swine flu epidemic. It takes YEARS to resolve safety issues. The immune system is extremely complex in how it functions. There will have to be a large pushback by the soon-to-be-victims of this irresponsible push to do a vaccine in record time.

  4. I am still trying to figure out exactly from where our President is coming on this vaccine. I had always thought that he was not that favorable of vaccines, and I am hoping my instincts are not in error. He has certainly stopped short of stating that everyone must be inoculated for it, but to many with whom I have spoken, they dislike that he seems to be pushing it so hard. I believe POTUS always has purposeful motives for everything he does, so if anyone has any insight into this decision, can you try to enlighten me? Thanks!

    1. I have no inside knowledge, but it seems to me that based on Trump’s background and desire to regrow the economy, he is thinking that if all who wish to be inoculated can be, the U.S. will have a robust workforce which will no longer have to worry about contracting the disease. If there is a chance it could be eradicated, then those considered vulnerable also will not have to suffer isolation and its concomitant effects.