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Fauci: Most vulnerable people will likely receive first COVID-19 vaccine doses by the new year

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the nation’s top infectious disease experts, said Thursday that some of those Americans who are most vulnerable to the novel coronavirus will likely have access to the first doses of a safe vaccine in December or January, Reuters has reported.

Dr. Fauci, speaking on a Facebook and Twitter livestream with director of the National Institutes of Health Dr. Francis Collins, said that those people who need the vaccine the most will likely receive the first doses of it “by the end of December or the beginning of January” assuming vaccine developers don’t experience any major delays.

The two leading participants in the race to develop a vaccine are the companies Pfizer and Moderna. Both companies have already been running clinical trials on humans for months, with the final stage having commenced back in July. Based on their estimates, Fauci said that it will likely be known “sometime in December whether or not we have a safe and effective vaccine.”

This comes as Moderna announced Thursday that it has already amassed $1.1 billion in deposits from multiple governments for a potential vaccine that it’s preparing to launch soon across the globe. It has been developing the vaccine with the assistance of the National Institutes of Health.

Additionally, Moderna’s Chief Medical Officer Tal Zaks said on a Thursday earnings call that their trial is operating according to schedule and that an independent data-monitoring committee is expected to conduct an interim review in November, The Hill reports.

Pfizer, on the other hand, has experienced some delays. The company, according to Reuters, was originally expected to publish its interim data in October but is now doubtful that it can announce the data before the end of the month. Ultimately, that data might be released after the U.S. presidential election on November 3.

Assuming the trials yield a safe and effective vaccine, before the first doses can be distributed in the United States, both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will have to review the data and then offer their suggestions regarding which individuals should receive the first doses.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Chinese Spy Balloon: Tensions rise between the U.S. and China

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A strange object was spotted Wednesday over Billings Montana. The Pentagon confirmed Thursday that the strange object was, in fact, a Chinese spy balloon. According to a report from KPAX, a western Montana news outlet, the balloon had been on the governments radar for days.

On Friday, the Chinese government released a statement saying that the balloon spotted in Billings is a “civilian airship” that’s sole purpose is used to collect research on weather and that it had just blown off course. The balloon was not shot down by orders of the Pentagon due to the risk of falling debris injuring people on the ground.

Sara Carter, who has spoken frequently on the Chinese government’s threat and expansion to the West, stated on Twitter that the United States has failed to stop China from purchasing land near military installations, vital agricultural land, as well as, allowing Chinese linked companies, such as Huawei, to install technology in cellular towers. Those cellular towers are located in Montana, along side more than 150 ICBM nuclear silos.

China said, “The Chinese side regrets the unintended entry of the airship into U.S. airspace due to force majeure.” Majeure meaning that it was out of there control. It blew off course due to limited “self-steering” capabilities according the Ministry. The ministry also stated that the balloon, “deviated far from its planned course.”

This incident is adding fuel to the fire of what is already a tense relationship between the worlds two largest economies. China already lays claim to approximately 80% of the South China Sea, and is seeking full control over Taiwan after assuming full control of Hong Kong. China’s belt and road initiative has invested copious amounts of money into building infrastructure in other countries and uses it as economic blackmail. China’s transportation of fentanyl into Mexico is yet again another example of how they are seeking to damage the US.

Is this just a weather ballon that blew off course? US officials at the White House seem to be unconvinced and will continue to monitor the balloon, as reported.

UPDATED: Statement from the Pentagon was jaw dropping when a reporter asked if the public has a right to know about Beijing’s balloon.

“The public certainly has the ability to look up in the sky and see where the balloon is,” a DOD official responded.

 

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