Coronavirus Live Updates: Fauci ‘Cautiously Optimistic’ U.S. Could Have Vaccine This Year

HuffPost reporters around the world are tracking the pandemic and its effects.

Read the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic below. (To see the latest updates, you may need to refresh the page. All times are Eastern. For earlier updates on the pandemic, go here.)

Scientists Concerned White House Will Wade Into Vaccine Development: NYT — 8/3/2020, 3 a.m. ET

A growing number of scientists are reportedly worried the Trump administration could push through a potential coronavirus vaccine in hopes of drumming up political support for the president.

According to The New York Times, many in Trump’s orbit are privately hoping for a vaccine to arrive by October ― just before Americans cast their votes in the November election. Several vaccines moved into large-scale Phase 3 trials last week and Dr. Anthony Fauci has said he was cautiously optimistic a vaccine could be available by the end of the year or early 2021. However, scientists have continued to caution that even if a vaccine was created, there were still many hurdles before it could be produced, shipped and distributed to hundreds of millions of Americans and potentially billions around the globe.

Trump has continued to tout his efforts to see the United States develop a vaccine as early as possible, telling supporters on Sunday that one could be available soon. 

“We expect to have a vaccine available very, very early before the end of the year, far ahead of schedule,” Trump said, per the Times. “We’re very close to having that finalized.”

Last week, Trump’s presumptive competitor, former Vice President Joe Biden, called on the White House to keep vaccine development “free from political pressure” and urged the president not to hype certain treatments without the science to back them up.

— Nick Visser

Young People Infected At Higher Rates Over The Weekend In Louisiana — 8/2/20, 5 p.m. ET

People aged 29 and under made up 43% of all new coronavirus cases reported in Louisiana over the weekend, according to the state’s Department of Health.

Young adults between the ages of 18 to 29 made up 33%, and teenagers and children 18 years old and younger made up 10% of the new cases.

Health officials noted that the rates of infections for young people were “higher than the >70 age group.”

There were 3,477 new cases reported in the state between Friday and Sunday, bringing the state’s total number of cases to 119,747.

The health department said that 95% of the new cases “are tied to community spread.”

Louisiana has the highest rate of per capita coronavirus cases in the country, with 2,463 infections per 100,000 residents, according to USA Today.

— Carla Russo

Birx Says U.S. In ‘New Phase’ Of Pandemic — 8/2/20, 1:40 p.m. ET

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force’s response coordinator, said Sunday that the U.S. has entered a “new phase” of the pandemic. She warned that recent outbreaks across the country are different than the isolated hotspots seen in New York City and Seattle in March and April.

This new wave of infections is “extraordinarily widespread” and appearing in both rural and urban areas, Birx said on CNN’s “State Of The Union.”

“To everybody who lives in a rural area, you are not immune or protected from this virus,” she added. “And that’s why we keep saying no matter where you live in America, you need to wear a mask and socially distance.”

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