A vaccine for Covid-19 by the end of the year will be the fastest pace for a novel pathogen in history, the White House said on Thursday, asserting that it has been the goal of the administration and it is still on track for that. "We do expect to have a vaccine by the end of the year. That has always been the goal and we are still on track for that," White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters at a news conference here.
It is very important what US President Donald Trump has done with regard to commercial-level manufacturing, she said. "The fact that you have scaled up to manufacture these vaccines in advance is something that this president has done, as he is a businessman and thinks through exactly how to get a safe and effective vaccine delivered at a record speed. And part of that has entailed manufacturing in advance," McEnany said.
"To do this, it normally takes years to scale up to commercial-level production. But this president has done it in just a few short months. If we have this vaccine by the end of the year, it will be the fastest pace for a vaccine for a novel pathogen in history," she added.
In response to another question on the president's suggestion a day before that he might overrule stricter standards at the FDA on the coronavirus vaccine, McEnany said the Food and Drug Administration does have strict standards. "They are the gold standard with regard to vaccines. The president was referring to the normal interagency process that happens with guidance and that includes running through the office of management and budget, so that is standard operating procedure," she said.
In a separate statement, Al Mason, co-chair of the Trump Victory Indian American Finance Committee, praised the president for his successful fight against the coronavirus. "President Trump has done an extraordinary job, fighting the made in China virus on all fronts every single day," he said.