Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

Trump is 'very confident' there will be a coronavirus vaccine 'by the end of the year'

President Trump on Sunday participated in a virtual town hall with Fox News at the Lincoln Memorial, telling moderators Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum that he is "very confident" that "we'll have a vaccine by the end of the year. We'll have a vaccine much sooner rather than later."

Trump said he is not concerned by how fast the human trials have to move for this to happen, because "they're volunteers. They know what they're getting into. ... They want to help the process." Last week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said a coronavirus vaccine by January is "doable if things fall in the right place." Health experts have said it could take 18 months at the earliest to have a vaccine ready to go.

Trump called the coronavirus "a plague" that is "going to pass," and said after emerging in China, it "should have been stopped. It could have been stopped at the spot." He was also asked about the demonstrations being held to protest COVID-19 mitigation rules, despite the coronavirus continuing to spread. He called the protests, which have included supporters waving Trump flags and banners, "meaningful."

Vice President Mike Pence and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin joined Trump for part of the town hall, and they insisted that if there is another stimulus package, there has to be a payroll tax cut. Mnuchin also said that the White House wants to "help states" but won't offer a "bailout." Catherine Garcia