Media Outlets Report On U.S. Approach To Coronavirus, Comments By NIAID Director On Outbreak

The Hill: Coronavirus poses risks for Trump in 2020
“A new and dangerous coronavirus that has infected tens of thousands of people in China represents a potentially destabilizing threat to the global economy and Americans’ sense of security, twin strengths that President Trump hopes to rely on as he seeks reelection…” (Wilson, 2/11).

MedPage Today: U.S. Health Officials Defend Coronavirus Containment Effort
“Unknown transmission risks, as well as lack of countermeasures to the novel coronavirus, were key drivers in implementing U.S. travel restrictions, which hope to buy time for public health agencies to implement a response to the outbreak, members of an expert panel said. ‘The decision was not made lightly to have a travel ban,’ Anthony Fauci, MD, director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said at the Aspen Institute Event on Coronavirus. ‘When you’re talking about travel bans … you’re never going to exclude everybody. If we can slow down the importation, particularly from the epicenter of the outbreak … we just wanted to buy that window of time to be able to prepare better’…” (Walker, 2/11).

STAT: Major drug makers haven’t stepped up to manufacture NIH coronavirus vaccine, top U.S. health official says
“No major pharmaceutical company has come forward to say it would manufacture a vaccine for the novel coronavirus currently being developed by the National Institutes of Health, a top U.S. official acknowledged Tuesday, a reality that he called ‘very difficult and very frustrating.’ The comments by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, highlight how challenging it could be to translate the NIH’s work, being undertaken in partnership with the biotech company Moderna Therapeutics, into a vaccine that could be marketed. Fauci described the circumstances as challenging. ‘Companies that have the skill to be able to do it are not going to just sit around and have a warm facility, ready to go for when you need it,’ Fauci said, speaking on a panel Tuesday hosted by the Aspen Institute and moderated by STAT’s Helen Branswell. Fauci said it would be at least a year before a coronavirus vaccine would be available. However, that timeline assumes a large pharmaceutical manufacturer does step up to help make the product…” (Florko, 2/11).