Dr. Fauci said that Joe Biden’s pledge to administer 100 million shots of the vaccine within his first 100 days in office is achievable. After a slow start, the US is ramping up its program.
The United States’ top infectious-disease expert has refuted suggestions from President Donald Trump that the country’s coronavirus situation has been greatly exaggerated.
“All you need to do … is go into the trenches, go into the hospitals, go into the intensive care units and see what is happening. Those are real numbers, real people and real deaths,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Earlier on Sunday, Trump criticized the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, saying the health authority’s methods of determining cases had led to inflated figures.
Trump tweeted: “The number of cases and deaths of the China Virus is far exaggerated in the United States because of @CDCgov’s ridiculous method of determination compared to other countries, many of whom report, purposely, very inaccurately and low. ‘When in doubt, call it COVID.'” Fake News!
Many experts in the US believe that the real numbers are in fact much higher and that many cases have been overlooked.
Meanwhile, the US has made significant progress in it vaccination drive after a slower-than-anticipated start, bringing the number of shots dispensed to about 4 million, according government health officials.
Dr. Fauci also said on ABC’s “This Week” that President-elect Joe Biden’s pledge to administer 100 million shots of the vaccine within his first 100 days in office is achievable.
Biden has already promised Dr. Fauci his job is secure once he takes office later this month.
South Africa hopes to obtain its first vaccine doses next month, the health minister has announced.
Dr. Zweli Mkhize told the gathered press: “We are targeting February,” while cautioning that before that can happen negotiations must be concluded with producers such as Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca, as well as with Russian and Chinese laboratories.
Scotland is entering another lockdown which will last until spring, The Times, a UK daily reported on Monday. The lockdown starts on January 4.
Scotland is reportedly planning to push back the reopening of schools till after January 18, while Scotland’s leader, Nicola Sturgeon ordered the country’s parliament to be recalled.
Greece has detected four cases of the new, more infectious variant in people who recently traveled from the UK, the Health Ministry has said.
The Robert Koch Institute in Germany confirmed that the country had recorded roughly 10,000 infections over the last 24 hours, with 312 deaths, but noted that the diminished figures might be distorted by counting delays caused by the holiday period.
Norway will impose fresh restrictions, including a nationwide ban on serving alcohol in restaurants and bars, Prime Minister Erna Solberg has announced, in order to curb a recent rise in infections.
Retailers in the UK, such as Boots and Tesco, have said they will offer logistical support in the distribution of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
Japan is contemplating declaring a state of emergency in greater Tokyo after a third wave of coronavirus infections. Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said that the government was planning to introduce a legislation to penalize businesses that would operate after a certain time and introduce incentives for businesses abiding rules.
Suga added that the country would begin vaccinating citizens against the coronavirus in late February and that the Olympics would be held on schedule in 2021.
South Korea has extended a ban on private gatherings throughout the country, amid a rise in coronavirus cases. According to the rules, more than four people can’t gather privately. The country has also imposed social distancing rules in Seoul on churches, restaurants, cafes and ski resorts, among other places.
New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, which houses the city Sydney, reported zero cases of the coronavirus in three weeks. The state’s testing numbers also fell to about 20,000 on January 2 and 3. The news comes at a time when Australian authorities have imposed the rule of mandatory masks in indoor spaces and public transport. Those not following the rule will be fined $154.
“The numbers are far too low… if we are going to succeed in staying ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic, testing is crucial in large numbers so we can be confident of the data when we are making decisions,” said NSW’s acting premier, John Barilaro.
India’s drug regulator gave emergency authorization to two vaccines – Oxford University and AstraZaneca’s vaccine and a local one developed by Bharat Biotech – for COVID-19 on Sunday.
Dr. Venugopal G. Somani, the drugs controller general of India, said that the vaccines will be administered in two doses.
India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, tweeted that the vaccine approval reflected the will of the scientific community for a self-reliant India.
India’s Serum Institute is producing 1 billion doses of the vaccine for distribution in developing nations.
Adar Poonawalla, the chief executive of Serum Institute, told the Associated Press on Sunday that India would not export the vaccine for several months to ensure vulnerable populations in India receive the vaccine and to prevent hoarding.