Dr Fauci tells President Trump he's 'cautiously optimistic' about Moderna coronavirus vaccine as it enters Phase 3 trial

DOCTOR Anthony Fauci said he's "cautiously optimistic" about the Moderna coronavirus vaccine as it entered the Phase 3 trials.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases expert spoke with CNN about briefing the president on the 30,000-person vaccine trial that began on Monday.

Fauci said he briefed President Trump earlier Monday morning in the Oval Office at the White House.

The coronavirus expert said he spoke with the president about the 89 sites across the country that are giving the coronavirus vaccines as part of the trial.

Fauci said he's "cautiously optimistic" about the trials.

He added that there's "never a guarantee" on the success of the vaccine – but that early data shows promise.

"If you look at the early data…The kinds of response that we induced in those volunteers they were robust antibody responses…and that’s one of the hallmarks," Fauci told CNN.

Fauci added that experts are hoping the vaccine is 60 percent or more effective.

For comparison, the CDC notes that the seasonal flu vaccine is around 40 to 60 percent effective, depending on the year.

He pointed out that vaccines from other companies will also soon be entering Phase 3 trials, and experts hope that more than one prove successful.

 Pfizer Inc. announced late Monday that it began its own study of vaccine candidates, aiming to run trials with a group of 30,000 people.

Fauci called the fast-track "record time," as experts will have results from the final trial phase in a few months.

"To go from not even knowing what the virus was in early January to a phase 3 trial is really record time," Fauci told CNN.

In the trial, 15,000 adults will be given the vaccine, while the other 15,000 are given a placebo.

He cautioned that answers will not arrive until November or December.

Fauci's comments came as COVID-19 cases in the US soared past 4.28million cases, with deaths surpassing 148,000.

As parts of the country have gone back into lockdown with cases rising – andrecords seen in a dozen states in the past week –Trump said certain governors should be "opening up."

On Monday, Republicans proposed their own coronavirus stimulus package.

The package – worth $1trillion – includes another round of $1,200 stimulus checks for Americans, along with $200 extended unemployment benefits.

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