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Sunday, May 17, 2020

Coronavirus vaccine or no vaccine, US is reopening: Donald Trump

President Donald Trump has assured Americans that the United States, which has badly suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic, will reopen whether a vaccine is developed to combat the deadly virus or not.
Speaking at a White House Rose Garden news conference on Friday, President Trump urged ''Americans to return to their lives as normal.''
“As of this morning, almost every state has taken steps to begin reopening, and the American people are doing an extraordinary job of continuing to take precautions while, at the same time, wanting to start.  And they will be starting to resume their American way of life,’’ Trump said.
“And I just want to make something clear. It’s very important: Vaccine or no vaccine, we’re back.  And we’re starting the process.  And in many cases, they don’t have vaccines, and a virus or the flu comes, and you fight through it.  We haven’t seen anything like this in 100-and-some-odd years — 1917,’’ Trump added.
During his press meet, the US President also announced an objective to deliver a coronavirus jab possibly by year-end.
“But you fight through it. And people sometimes, I guess - we don’t know exactly yet, but it looks like they become immune, or at least for a short while, and maybe for life.  But you fight through it.  But what we’d like to do, if we can, is the vaccine.  I think we’re going to be successful in doing it and hopefully by the end of the year,’’ he said.
The US President further said that the US Administration ''will be reigniting the economic engines and take care of the most vulnerable – the senior citizens and some others.’’
''We’re going to be working very, very hard on our senior citizens and our nursing homes and various communities to support those that are struggling in this very difficult time.  Others don’t have the same kind of struggle,’’ Trump told reporters.
While expressing hope that a COVID-19 vaccine would be available by the end of the year, Trump announced to appoint Moncef Slaoui, the former head of vaccines at GlaxoSmithKline, and four-star Army general Gustave Perna, to spearhead the effort as researchers around the world scramble to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus that has killed more than 300,000 people globally.
Trump also formally announced "Operation Warp Speed" to develop the COVID-19 vaccine as his administration mounted an unprecedented effort that involves the country's military to get a vaccine for the deadly disease before the end of the year.
''It is called Operation Warp Speed that means big, and it means fast a massive scientific industrial and logistical endeavour, unlike anything our country has seen since the Manhattan Project. You really could say that nobody has seen anything like we are doing, whether it is ventilators or testing nobody has seen anything like we are doing now within our country since the second world war incredible,” he said.
''Its objective is to finish developing and then to manufacture and distribute a proven coronavirus vaccine as fast as possible. Again, we would love to see if we could do it prior to the end of the year. I think we are going to have some very good results coming out very quickly,’’ Trump said.
He stressed that the United States is not looking at profits from the coronavirus vaccine. ''The last thing anybody is looking for is profit in terms of what we are doing. Every company they want to get it out,’’ Trump told reporters in the Rose Garden of the White House.
''In addition, it will continue accelerating the development of diagnostics and breakthrough therapies. The great national project will bring together the best of American industry and innovation, the full resources of the United States government, and the excellence and precision of the United States military; we have a military totally involved,’’ he added.
Trump confirmed that he would appoint Moncef Slaoui, the former head of GSK Vaccines, and four-star army general Gustave Perna, to lead "Operation Warp Speed."
Slaoui, who left GlaxoSmithKline in 2017, will be the chief scientist. Slaoui, a world-renowned immunologist, helped create 14 new vaccines in 10 years during his time in the private sector.
Joining Slaoui his Chief Operating Officer will be General Perna, a four-star general who currently oversees 190,000 service members, civilians, and contractors as commander of the US Army Material Command that means logistics, the US President said.
In preparation for this initiative, experts throughout the government have been collaborating to evaluate roughly 100 vaccine candidates from all over the world. "They have identified 14 that they believe are the most promising, and they are working to narrow that list still further," he said.
The President also said the United States will work closely with other countries, even those who aren't allies, to develop a vaccine.

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