WASHINGTON: The US will have a coronavirus vaccine before the new year, President Donald Trump said Sunday.
"We are very confident that we are going to have a vaccine at the end of the year, by the end of the year,” Trump said. “We think we are going to have a vaccine by the end of this year, and we are pushing very hard.”
According to experts, a vaccine could take 12 to 18 months to develop.
"Now, the doctors will say, ‘Well you shouldn’t say that.’ I’ll say what I think...I think we’re going to have a vaccine much sooner rather than later," he added.
Trump to push for reopening US as millions more seek unemployment aid
As of Sunday, the disease has infected more than 1.1 million people in the US and killed more than 67,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The president also revised his prediction regarding the deaths that would result in total.
In mid-April, he said up to 65,000 people would die due to the coronavirus pandemic, a lower figure than White House experts predicted.
"I used to say 65,000, and now I’m saying 80 or 90 and it goes up and it goes up rapidly," said Trump.
In late March, the doctor leading the White House's coronavirus response team, Deborah Birx, presented a model for the potential number of deaths.
Trump says China wants him to lose his bid for re-election
It showed between 100,000 and 240,000 could die if the US follows social distancing and public health guidelines. Without any intervention, it forecast 1.5 to 2 million deaths.