U.S. President Donald Trump met with scientists and executives from the pharmaceutical industry at the White House where Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said, “A vaccine that you make and start testing in a year is not a vaccine that is deployable.”
Top U.S. health officials have said any vaccine is up to 18 months away and there is no treatment for the respiratory disease, although patients can receive supportive care.
The White House is also expected to meet this week with top executives from U.S. airlines and the cruise industry over the impact of the virus on their businesses, two people briefed on the matter said.
The number of coronavirus cases in the United States has ticked up in recent days, with more than 75 confirmed cases including two reported deaths, both in Washington state where a cluster of cases is centered on a nursing home near Seattle.
There have been more than 87,000 cases globally and nearly 3,000 deaths in 60 countries, according to the World Health Organization. The global death toll was up to 3,044, according to a Reuters tally.
Public health officials have urged common-sense steps to prevent contracting and spreading the virus, such as frequent hand-washing and staying home when sick.