Trump: US ‘Doing Well’ in Developing COVID-19 Vaccine

President Donald Trump says the United States is “doing well” in developing a coronavirus vaccine as a North Carolina lab began manufacturing a possible vaccine Monday.

Trump visited the facility outside Raleigh, which will start producing a batch to be used in a clinical trial of as many as 30,000 test subjects this fall. The coronavirus causes COVID-19.

Fujifilm Diosynth is manufacturing the vaccine for Novavax, a company in Gaithersburg, Maryland, that developed the vaccine. It was awarded $1.6 billion from the federal government as part of an effort to speed up coronavirus vaccine development.

The Trump administration launched what it calls Operation Warp Speed, a program under which multiple coronavirus vaccines are being developed simultaneously with the hope of having 300 million safe and effective doses ready by January.

While Trump was in North Carolina, Vice President Mike Pence was in Miami, where clinical trials of another vaccine jointly developed by The National Institutes of Health and the Moderna Inc. began Monday.

Vice President Mike Pence, center, gestures as he speaks during a news conference with FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn, left, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, right, at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine on July 27, 2020.

“It’s a historic day, a day when we begin in earnest to work on a vaccine,” Pence said.

The White House is relying on the development of a successful vaccine to overcome criticism that Trump’s efforts to fight the coronavirus has largely failed and the president appears indifferent to the seriousness of COVID-19 as the number of new cases in the United States continues to grow.

But some health experts say it sometimes can take years for a safe and effective vaccine against a disease to be successfully developed.

Food and Drug Administration chief Dr. Stephen Hahn was with Pence in Miami and told reporters the FDA “will not cut corners” to evaluate a vaccine.

Several other countries are also working on developing a COVID-19 vaccine.

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