Remarks by President Trump in a Roundtable on Donating Plasma
Issued on: July 30, 2020
Steve, go ahead.
Q One issue that has come up is, once you do have a vaccine, how do you properly distribute it? How do you get it out quickly to (inaudible)?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, when we have the vaccine, we have the military all lined up, and the military is going to be doing it in a very powerful manner. These are people that don’t usually do vaccines. They do soldiers and they do lots of other things that, frankly, are more difficult. But we have our general, and logistically, he’s all set. Tony, do you want to say something about that?
Dr. FAUCI: That is correct. As the vaccine rolls out, we’ll be getting them distributed. And as you probably have heard, we are going to make sure that we do it in an equitable way and it’s representative of the populations who need it the most. And we have the standard way that we determine that, with the ACIP working with the CDC.
But Dr. Collins and Dr. Redfield have put together, with the National Academy of Medicine, a group that will fortify that decision-making process so that we’re making sure that we’re very fair and equitable in getting the vaccine distributed properly.
THE PRESIDENT: And I think I could have Francis say that tremendous progress has been made on the vaccine, beyond anything that we would have thought if you go back six months. What do you think?
DR. COLLINS: It is just, frankly, quite astounding, Mr. President. I’ve been at NIH for 27 years and director for 11, and I’ve seen some amazing things happen. But the way in which the whole research community — public and private, philanthropies — everybody has come together to work on this, not worrying about who gets the credit, trying to figure out how to strip away anything that’s going to slow things down.
And I think all of us motivated by the fact that this is the most serious problem we’ve encountered in our professional lifetimes, even a day matters. And so that’s why a lot of people look kind of sleepy, because we’re all working 24/7, trying to make sure that nothing possibly slows this process down.
Yeah, the vaccines — this week is a big week, as you just heard, having two phase-three trials started in the very same day, this past Monday. And based upon very impressive phase one data, showing that people who got that in the phase one trials, developed these high levels of neutralizing antibodies that should be very predictive of protection. But you don’t know until you actually run the trial in those 30,000 people.
By the way, you heard earlier about Coronavirus.gov, which is a place you can go to to find out how you can donate plasma. There’s another thing you can do if you go to that website, which is to sign up to say you’re interested in a vaccine trial. And we need people to volunteer for that as well, because we’re going to — with these four or five trials coming along very quickly, each of which needs 30,000 volunteers — that’s a lot of people. And we need them.
THE PRESIDENT: And, Francis, we’re working very well with other countries.