Philadelphia (Web Desk): US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said a vaccine against the deadly coronavirus could be three or four weeks away.
Trump, speaking at a town hall hosted by ABC News in Philadelphia, defended his handling of the coronavirus crisis, and said a vaccine could be ready for distribution before the US presidential election on November 3.
"We're very close to having a vaccine," he said. "If you want to know the truth, the previous administration would have taken perhaps years to have a vaccine because of the FDA and all the approvals. And we're within weeks of getting it... Could be three weeks, four weeks."
Earlier this month, top US infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci told CNN that most experts believe a vaccine will be ready by November or December. "It is conceivable that you can have it by October, though I don't think that that's likely." Other experts say a scientifically credible vaccine will not be available until early 2021.
Trump bristled at tough questions from uncommitted voters and ABC News host George Stephanopoulos during the town hall meeting, arguing that his decision to impose travel bans on China and Europe had saved thousands, if not millions, of lives.
He also defended Americans who have shunned face masks and social distancing guidelines and said even experts like Fauci had changed their views about those practices during the crisis.