Dr. Anthony Fauci testified before Congress on Friday, stating how he is "cautiously optimistic" that a coronavirus vaccine currently being developed by Moderna will be successful. According to CNN, Fauci addressed the progress of the vaccine that his National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has been helping with: "We hope that by the time we get into late fall and early winter, we will have in fact a vaccine that we can say that would be safe and effective."
Fauci continued: "One can never guarantee the safety or effectiveness unless you do the trial, but we are cautiously optimistic this will be successful. Because in the early studies with humans, the phase one study, it clearly showed that individuals who are vaccinated mounted a neutralizing antibody response that was at least comparable and in many respects better than what we see in convalescent serum from individuals who have recovered from Covid-19."
CNN notes that the trial will likely sign-up roughly 30,000 adult volunteers, who will be given either two 100-microgram injections of the vaccine or a placebo, about 28 days apart. Neither the investigators nor the participants will know who has been given the vaccine.
Dr. Anthony Fauci tells lawmakers that while one can "never guarantee the safety or effectiveness" of a vaccine, he is "cautiously optimistic" that the coronavirus vaccine being developed by Moderna and his agency will be successful. https://t.co/nbNlv9NIft pic.twitter.com/gcjb1wSd38— CNN (@CNN) July 31, 2020
Ahead of his congressional testimony, Fauci sat down with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and shared his thoughts on reopening America safely during the coronavirus pandemic. "You have got to do it correctly," Fauci said, calling out states that reopened didn't follow the correct guidelines and reopened too early, leading to new spikes in COVID-19 cases. "You can’t jump over steps, which is very perilous when you think about rebound. The proof of the pudding is, look what has happened. There really is no reason that we are having 40, 50, 60 thousand, other than we are not doing something correctly."
Fauci also addressed claims that wearing a mask in public can be dangerous to one's health. "There has not been any indication that putting a mask on, and wearing a mask for a considerable period of time, has any deleterious effects on oxygen exchange and things like that," he stated. Notably, Fauci also spoke to Zuckerberg about the potential coronavirus vaccine, saying, "We should know, as we get to mid to late fall, whether we have [vaccine] candidates that are safe and effective."