Administration officials told senators that a vaccine was at least 12 to 18 months away, according to three senators present at today's closed briefing on coronavirus.
When asked if we are close to a vaccine, Sen. Roy Blunt said: “We will not have a vaccine in the next 12 or 18 months.”
Sen. Joe Manchin said he asked National Institutes of Health’s Tony Fauci whether they were close to a vaccine and Faucci said “no,” according to Manchin. “I guess Tony should know... It’s very contagious.”
Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chair Lamar Alexander said: “The vaccine for the coronavirus is moving more rapidly than any vaccine we have already tried to approve — but it will take a year or 18 months. The way to stop (an outbreak) is quarantine and monitoring.”
“I believe it’s under control," he added. "Do I think it will spread in the United States? The advice we got today is inevitably it will spread.”
There were 40 senators present for the all-senators briefing, according to Alexander.
Senators also said there was concern that there have not been enough masks produced in the US to help prevent the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile: Trump continues to publicly express confidence in his administration's handling of the crisis and optimism that it will be short-lived.
“I think that whole situation will start working out. A lot of talent, a lot of brain power is being put behind it,” he said on Tuesday during a news conference in New Delhi, India.