Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, adjusts his face mask during a House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus crisis hearing, Friday on Capitol Hill in Washington. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP
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Fauci confident virus vaccine will get to Americans in 2021

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By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR and MATTHEW PERRONE

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Friday that he remains confident that a coronavirus vaccine will be ready by early next year, telling lawmakers that a quarter-million Americans already have volunteered to take part in clinical trials.

But if the future looks encouraging, public health alarms are still going off in the present. Officials testifying with Fauci at a contentious House hearing acknowledged that the U.S. remains unable to deliver all COVID-19 test results within two or three days, and they jointly pleaded with Americans to comply with basic precautions such as wearing masks, avoiding crowds, and washing their hands frequently.

Those simple steps can deliver “the same bang for the buck as if we just shut the entire economy down,” said a frustrated Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adding that he has studies to back that up.

Looking ahead, Fauci said he's "cautiously optimistic that we will have a vaccine by the end of this year and as we go into 2021. I don’t think it’s dreaming ... I believe it’s a reality (and) will be shown to be reality.” As the government's top infectious disease expert, Fauci heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Under White House orders, federal health agencies and the Defense Department are carrying out a plan dubbed Operation Warp Speed to deliver 300 million vaccine doses on a compressed timeline. That will happen only after the Food and Drug Administration determines that one or more vaccines are safe and effective. Several candidates are being tested.

Don't look for a mass nationwide vaccination right away, Fauci told lawmakers. There will be a priority list based on recommendations from scientific advisers. Topping the list could be critical workers, such as as medical personnel, or vulnerable groups of people such as older adults with other underlying health problems.

“But ultimately, within a reasonable period of time, the plans now allow for any American who needs a vaccine to get it within the year 2021,” Fauci said.

Fauci, Redfield, and Department of Health and Human Services “testing czar” Admiral Brett Giroir testified at a moment when early progress against the coronavirus seems to have been frittered away. High numbers of new cases cloud the nation’s path. The three officials appeared before a special House panel investigating the government's pandemic response, itself sharply divided along party lines.

Nearly 4.5 million Americans have been infected with COVID-19, and more than 150,000 have died. In recent weeks the virus has rebounded in the South and West, and now upticks are being seen in the Midwest. Testing bottlenecks remain a major issue.

Asked if it's possible to deliver coronavirus test results to patients within 48 to 72 hours, Giroir acknowledged “it is not a possible benchmark we can achieve today given the demand and supply.”

But rapid, widespread testing is critical to containing the pandemic. It makes it easier for public health workers to trace the contacts of an infected person. Delayed test results only allow more people to get infected.

Giroir said a two- to three-day turnaround "is absolutely a benchmark we can achieve moving forward.”

While hospitals can generally deliver in-house test results within 24 hours, large commercial labs that do about half the testing for the country take longer, particularly if there's a surge in new cases.

The latest government data shows about 75% of test results are coming back within 5 days, but the remainder are taking longer, Giroir told lawmakers.

The bitter politics surrounding the U.S. response to the coronavirus was evident at the hearing by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis.

As the health officials were testifying, President Donald Trump in a tweet repeated a false claim that high numbers of U.S. cases are due to extensive testing. Committee Chairman James Clyburn, D-S.C., tried to enlist Fauci to rebut the president.

And Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio tried to press Fauci into saying that demonstrations against police violence toward Black Americans spread the virus and should be curbed. Fauci didn't bite.

“You make all kinds of recommendations,” Jordan said, taking aim at Fauci. “You made comments on dating, baseball, and everything you can imagine ... I’m just asking should we try to limit the protesting?”

Fauci said it's not his role to opine on curbing political protests. But Jordan shot back, noting that church services have been shut down due to virus precautions, and implying that Fauci has a double standard on two First Amendment rights, religious liberty and freedom of expression.

“I’m not favoring anybody over anybody,” Fauci answered. “And I don’t judge one crowd versus another crowd. When you’re in a crowd, particularly if you’re not wearing a mask, that induces the spread.”

Some Trump supporters have urged the president to sack Fauci, and the president's tweet raised the stakes.

During the hearing Clyburn had displayed a chart showing rising cases in the U.S. juxtaposed with lower levels across Europe. That caught the president's eye.

Trump tweeted: “Somebody please tell Congressman Clyburn, who doesn’t have a clue, that the chart he put up indicating more CASES for the U.S. than Europe, is because we do MUCH MORE testing than any other country in the World.”

Clyburn turned to Fauci for a real-time fact check.

“Now Dr. Fauci,” the chairman intoned, “do you agree with the president’s statement, or do you stand by your previous answer that the difference is caused by multiple factors including the fact that some states did not do a good job of reopening?”

Fauci answered directly.

“I stand by my previous statement that the increase in cases was due to a number of factors,” he said. One was “that in the attempt to reopen, that in some situations, states did not abide strictly by the guidelines that the task force and the White House had put out.”

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50 Comments

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I stand by my previous statement that the increase in cases was due to a number of factors,” he said. One was “that in the attempt to reopen, that in some situations, states did not abide strictly by the guidelines that the task force and the White House had put out.”

As I said before Dr. Fauci is hundred times the man trump and his toadies like jordan will ever be.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

Nearly 4.5 million Americans have been infected with COVID-19, and more than 150,000 have died.

But Trump and his fellow 'elite' couldn't care less. They're so out of touch with the everyday lives of dozens of millions of Americans out of work, with no job prospects, and no healthcare.

During Trump's reign the US has become a full-on plutocracy, a nation run by the rich, for the rich.

It's pretty clear Trump's family and fellow 'elites' will be the first Americans in queue once a vaccine is approved.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

I’m just asking should we try to limit the protesting?”

Good little lickspittle, Jimmy Jordan! You can put a gold star in your sticker book. Your big boss man is well pleased.

Now put on a mask.

Jim Jordan is one of these annoying jerks like Ted Cruz who don’t actually hold an opinion but think their sophistry is clever and persuasive.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

Good little lickspittle, Jimmy Jordan! You can put a gold star in your sticker book. Your big boss man is well pleased.

The likes of Gym Jordan scream the loudest because they have the most to hide!!!

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Plasticmonkey:. Jim Jordan is one of these annoying jerks like Ted Cruz who don’t actually hold an opinion but think their sophistry is clever and persuasive.

Well put.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Trump tweeted: “Somebody please tell Congressman Clyburn, who doesn’t have a clue, that the chart he put up indicating more CASES for the U.S. than Europe, is because we do MUCH MORE testing than any other country in the World.”

If the US doing more tests it's probably because more people are displaying symptoms.

But looking at the data on tests per million, there are ten European countries that are above the USA in the table.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Jim Jordan is one of these annoying jerks like Ted Cruz who don’t actually hold an opinion but think their sophistry is clever and persuasive.

Why?

And Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio tried to press Fauci into saying that demonstrations against police violence toward Black Americans spread the virus and should be curbed. Fauci didn't bite.

“You make all kinds of recommendations,” Jordan said, taking aim at Fauci. “You made comments on dating, baseball, and everything you can imagine ... I’m just asking should we try to limit the protesting?”

He’s got a good point, I mean, we know liberals don’t want to be questioned about anything (thank God Jordan is digging into the Good doctor) but it is worth asking and pointing out. We have to stay indoors, can’t work, can’t go to Denny’s or school and have to wear a mask because that could spread the virus, but if other people rob, loot, dismantle, rip up statues and destroy (liberals call it peaceful protesting..go figure) public property, attack people it’s somehow ok and the AI virus wouldn’t spread given the herd mentality?

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

Yeah, that’s more one-sided liberal rant against the man, we heard it all and there are others that disagree. I think it’s good he didn’t let the good Dr. off the hook and confronted him and just do what all liberals want and that’s comply and do without question. Again, good on Jordan for being the hawk he is.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

that’s more one-sided liberal rant

Um, they are quoting the students directly.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Again, there are “two sides” to every story, if it’s one thing I have learned from liberals, it’s just that.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

Dr. Fauci says Trump leadership saved lives and that he was in agreement on the decisions.

Did stopping flights from China and Europe save lives?

Fauci: "Yes."

Did early domestic strategies to slow the spread save lives?

Fauci: "I believe it did.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Dr. Fauci says Trump leadership saved lives and that he was in agreement on the decisions.

You don't believe Fauci because he got it wrong too many times. Now you are quoting him?

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Fauci knew good and well the he was not allowed to say anything negative about the protests

Jordan caused Fauci to look ridiculous while obviously claiming large crowds were no good while trying not tp identity protests to be the main large crowd we see there days

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

It;s a great headline that brings us all hope. But....will the vaccine work? Will it have side effects? And more importantly, will it be made available to everybody? Not just the middle class and above who have private medical insurance??

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Black:. Fauci knew good and well

Im sorry, maybe you missed my point. For months you've been discrediting this man's opinion but once he says something positive about Trump you quote him?

Looks like you have both sides covered.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

Fauci has been wrong so many times, we can’t shake hands, but if we want to hookup with people we meet online, no problem. Masks don’t make a difference and now we have to wear it, the guy is all over the place.

Jordan caused Fauci to look ridiculous while obviously claiming large crowds were no good while trying not tp identity protests to be the main large crowd we see there days.

Exactly, that’s pretty much it.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Black:. Dr. Fauci says Trump leadership saved lives

Bass:. Fauci has been wrong so many times

Let the debate begin.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

simple- this time facts and data show that the Fauci statement is correct. Trump saved lives.

You can also tell by his face when he has to say things he doesnt want to. He doesnt want to say that Trump saved lives but has no choice. Now maybe Brad Pitt will get mad and not play him on TV anymore and he will lose his invitations to baseball games.

Like his confused face when he was trying to tap dance around protests being large crowds after he said large crowds spread corona. There are no larger crowds right now than protests, but he was trying to think of anything but those to classifiy as an example of a large crowd.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

He’s got a good point, I mean, we know liberals don’t want to be questioned about anything (thank God Jordan is digging into the Good doctor) 

Gym Jordon’s asking a doctor about a political protest!!!

Brainless is an understatement for such people who will use every opportunity to please their master.

Once trump has been kicked out he will be the first to turn on him.

I wish he used the same acoustic abilities when the students came to Gym for support !!!

2 ( +9 / -7 )

I watched the testimony live.

Fauci is so hesitant to say anything that he feels will anger the liberals and their media. So each time he said something positive about Trump or hopeful about the future, he was forced into it by repeated questioning.

He often tried to make the CDC director or the military office take the question instead. Lame "leadership".

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Gym Jordan is an embarrassment to the house, though He has to compete with the likes of Yoho, Gohmert, Gaetz, Nunes ....

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Fauci is so hesitant to say anything that he feels will anger the liberals and their media. So each time he said something positive about Trump or hopeful about the future, he was forced into it by repeated questioning. 

As you know, liberals don’t have a logical or rational retort, they just regress into drive by, one pot shots and insults and nothing more.

He often tried to make the CDC director or the military office take the question instead. Lame "leadership".

To put it mildly....

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

And what is the success rate on that vaccine likely to be? 25? 50 percent?

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Gym Jordan forgot to bring up the fact that his master trump’s Tulsa rally already has one known fatality, Cain.

He somehow doesn’t have any concern for holding rallies with most attendees not wearing masks.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

And what is the success rate on that vaccine likely to be? 25? 50 percent?

Speculating on stuff you have no idea about!!!

50% is better than 0%.

Each life saved is worth something !!!

0 ( +7 / -7 )

If the world was a fair place, Gym Jordan would be treated the same way as Ghislaine!!!!

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

50% is better than 0%.

I never said it wasn't.

Speculating on stuff you have no idea about!!!

I merely asked a question based on the fact that flu vaccines have a success rate of about 50 percent max.

I am real sorry if you find my question inconvenient or the likely answer inconvenient. I may have burst your reassuring dream where a Covid 19 vaccine saved the world all by itself. Sorry about that. Everyone should have dreams.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I may have burst your reassuring dream where a Covid 19 vaccine saved the world all by itself.

I also have nightmares people will die because of uninformed skeptics.

Sorry about that. Everyone should have dreams.

Yes they should, and everyone should have lives too.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I also have nightmares people will die because of uninformed skeptics.

If you think I am being an "uniformed skeptic" then please tell me a likely effective range of a possible Covid 19 vaccine. And if you refuse to stick your neck out citing "uncertainties" then have the decency to explain what is so very wrong about citing the flu vaccine range as a possible range for it.

everyone should have lives too.

Was that snipe even necessary?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

How come Fauci can't admit that protests and riots contribute to the spread of COVID?

I wish he would make more efforts to get inexpensive and readily available treatments that work to COVID patients.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

How come Fauci can't admit that protests and riots contribute to the spread of COVID?

Maybe he doesn't want to get sucked into the diseased right wing political mincer like you desperately want him to.

"Fauci didn't bite."

3 ( +6 / -3 )

How come Fauci can't admit that protests and riots contribute to the spread of COVID?

Answer: because he’s a doctor and doesn’t want to take political sides. If Jordan had asked Fauci whether the Tulsa rally contributed to a rise in infections, Fauci would have declined to answer as well.

Jim Jordan is a dumb person’s idea of a smart guy.

And it’s amazing how Fauci is now being painted as a liberal simply because he doesn’t agree with Trump’s medical theories.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Jim Jordan will do anything to make his boss happy. Just ask those wrestlers at Ohio State who Jordan threw under the bus.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Geez I really believe him not..

2 ( +3 / -1 )

the guy is all over the place.

So you advise Trump to fire Fauci?

You would think after all of Trump’s whining about Fauci he would have found someone else. Maybe he can hire Dr. Stella Immanuel.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Witch doctor in the White House Sign me up for the daily briefings.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Maybe he doesn't want to get sucked into the diseased right wing political mincer like you desperately want him to. 

Jordan tried, but the good Dr. Fauci knew any answer he would give Jordan would call BS about it. I’m starting to think this is an intelligent virus of superior complexity, it kills Conservatives, but liberals are highly resistant to it.

Makes perfect sense.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

"superior complexity, it kills Conservatives"

Is this Gibberish for "it kills conservatives so it's good"?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Protective masks,

Most conservatives, they just to make it their daily new religion that occupies their minds 24/7

hand washing and even sometimes, but not always, social distance.

Same, nothing different. But “none” of these rioters and Antifa are practicing social distancing, so there goes that theory out the window.....

What we are seeing is Darwin at work.

I see more political BS at work and that’s No BS.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Masks don’t make a difference and now we have to wear it, the guy is all over the place.

It must be confusing to you trying to understand someone who changes their ideas according to scientific ideas, data, and facts, rather than based on whether they have an R after their name or not.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

And then, magically, masks won’t be needed anymore.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I’m not the one confused, don’t do the fungi, but please don’t give me that garbage that we have to listen to this guy on everything we don’t and at the same time we can take the advice of other healthcare professionals that say hydroxychloroquine MIGHT actually help in some cases, that ultimately means, we can decide for ourselves to take another opposing point of view when it comes to the various expert opinions that also includes wearing a mask.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I’m not the one confused

You just don't get how he adjusts his recommendations based on data as he gets it, instead of based on what political affiliation he is trying to appease. Got it.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

If you think I am being an "uniformed skeptic" then please tell me a likely effective range of a possible Covid 19 vaccine

I am not speculating about the effectiveness of a vaccine that’s not yet released, because I am not qualified to do so.

Was that snipe even necessary?

Neither was this

Everyone should have dreams.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

And then, magically, masks won’t be needed anymore.

Um, yeah. It's like when someone gets their eyes fixed with Lasik (or whatever its called). They don't need to keep wearing glasses. There isn't anything magical about this at all.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

it amazes me that people think Fauci isnt playing politics.

He is making a political decision by refusing to state the obvious that protests are large crowds. and if large crowds spread corona, then by default so do protests. But to support the Dem political narrative, he refuses to say the obvious.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

You just don't get how he adjusts his recommendations based on data as he gets it, instead of based on what political affiliation he is trying to appease. Got it.

I get it, but I’m not buying Fauci’s BS.

It amazes me that people think Fauci isnt playing politics.

I think that all the time.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I get it, but I’m not buying Fauci’s BS.

Yeah how dare he be all logic, data and fact based when you’re busy trying to be hyper partisan. Doesn’t he realize he’s causing trump difficulties because people compare trumps personality to his?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

it amazes me that people think Fauci isnt playing politics.

So many people are warped by politics in the US especially that of course they don't see it. They have the same disease. A large part of the population has been turned into brainless partisan fanatics by the media, politicians and the "education" system. History has seem this story 100s of times before. Always ends in disaster.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

> it amazes me that people think Fauci isnt playing politics.

It amazes me how desperate the nutty right wing is to discredit Dr Fauci, all because he’s been proven and their not so bright leader has an egg on his face.

He is making a political decision by refusing to state the obvious that protests are large crowd

He’s pleaded multiple times for people to follow social distancing, wear masks but the followers of the brainless president refuse to do so.

Caine is dead, will trump accept responsibility.....

0 ( +3 / -3 )

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