Trump: Can Influenza Vaccine work against Corona?

During a meeting with pharmaceutical executives and members of his administration's coronavirus task force, President Donald Trump asked whether the Influenza vaccine would be useful in fighting COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
Leonard Schleifer, CEO of the biotechnology company Regeneron, said that while millions of people were vaccinated for the Influenza, no one had yet gotten a vaccine to prevent SARS-2, caused by COVID-19.

"But the same vaccine could not work?" Trump said. "You take a solid flu vaccine — you don't think that would have an impact, or much of an impact, on corona?"

"No," Schleifer replied truthfully.

However, the president appeared to not understand basic information about how a vaccine works, is tested or produced and had to be repeatedly corrected by public health officials. While influenza and COVID-19 are both respiratory illnesses that involve similar symptoms, the two viruses belong to a different genus and have major structural differences.

It takes 18 to 24 months to develop and test an effective vaccine, and that is already an accelerated timetable. Cost estimates have ranged from $200 million to $1.5 billion. And while researchers may be able to develop a vaccine for this particular coronavirus strain, it might not be until after this outbreak has ended.

Only days later, during a visit to the CDC, Trump bragged about him having a 'natural ability to understand science'. As Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821) so eloquently observed 'every nation gets the government it deserves'.

For an insight into Trump's muddled mindset, read Miranda Carter's essay 'What Happens When a Bad-Tempered, Distractible Doofus* Runs an Empire?' here.

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