WASHINGTON – The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday that nine out of 10 Americans are still susceptible to the virus and reiterated a 2021 timeline for widespread distribution of a proven vaccine.
“A majority of our nation, more than 90% of the population, remains susceptible,” CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield told the Senate Committee for Health, Education, Labor and Pensions a day after the United States crossed grim milestones of 7 million cases of COVID-19 and 200,000 coronavirus-related deaths.
Redfield, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Adm. Brett Giroirand Food And Drug Administration Director Dr. Stephen Hann told the committee that scientific evidence will determine when a vaccine is ready for the public use.
“In the end, FDA will not authorize or approve a vaccine that we would not feel comfortable giving to our family,” explained Hahn. “FDA will not authorize or approve any COVID-19 vaccine before it has met the FDA’s rigorous expectations for safety and effectiveness.
”The witnesses all said that a vaccine has a potential to be distributed in 2021 pending successful trials. However, last Wednesday, President Donald Trump contradicted Redfield’s timeline for mid-2021 widespread availability, stating, “I think he made a mistake when he said that. It’s just incorrect information.
”Midway through the hearing, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.,and Fauci got into a disagreement over New York’s early handling of the virus procedure. Paul criticized Fauci for praising of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s response to the virus.
Fauci replied, “If you look at what’s going on right now, the things that are going on in New York to get their test positivity 1% or less, they are looking at the guidelines that we put together from the task force of the four or five things: of masks, social distancing, outdoors more than indoors, avoiding large crowds and washing hands.”
Fauci also reiterated that college students who contract the virus should be kept on campus.
“[Schools] should be able to accommodate the students in a facility, maybe a separate dorm or a separate floor, so they don’t spread among the student body. But do not send them home to their community because of the likelihood of reseeding infection in their community,” he said