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Health official says coronavirus vaccine will take 'at least a year to a year and a half' to develop

A top U.S. health official said on Wednesday that it will take "at least a year to a year and a half at best" to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus, contradicting President TrumpDonald John TrumpStephen Miller: Trump to further crackdown on illegal immigration if he wins US records 97,000 new COVID-19 cases, shattering daily record Biden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll MORE, who said one day earlier that "we're very close to a vaccine."

During an appearance on CNN, Dr. Anthony Fauci from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases spoke about the tentative timeline for a coronavirus vaccine, saying that there is some confusion.

Fauci said that phase one of the vaccine safety trials is still one or two months away.

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"In order to get a [coronavirus] vaccine that's practically deployable for people to use, it's going to be at least a year to a year and a half at best," said Fauci.

During a press conference in India on Tuesday, Trump said "we're very close" to a vaccine.

 

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A top health official warned later in the day on Tuesday that the spread of coronavirus in the U.S. appears to be inevitable.

"As more and more countries experience community spread, successful containment at our borders becomes harder and harder,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters.

White House economic adviser Larry KudlowLarry KudlowMORE, however, then sought to minimize the threat from the deadly virus.

"We have contained this. I won't say [it's] airtight, but it's pretty close to airtight," Kudlow said on CNBC.

Early Wednesday, Trump said in a tweet that the CDC and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar were "doing a great job" with respect to the response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The president added that he will hold a "news conference" on the issue later in the day.

The disease, which is believed to have originated in China, has infected 80,000 people worldwide.

Across Europe, seven more countries reported confirmed cases. Austria, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Spain and Switzerland all have reported cases, with the Italian Civil Protection Department announcing 374 people are infected with the virus across nine different regions.