Trump: COVID Vaccines Begin Distribution Next Week
President reveals healthcare workers and at-risk populations will get them first
President Donald Trump has revealed that the U.S. military will begin distributing COVID-19 vaccines as early as next week, in a surprise announcement.
The president said that healthcare workers and at-risk populations will get the drug first.
Trump made the announcement during a Thanksgiving Day call with U.S. troops as he thanked the brave men and women of America's military.
So far, at least three coronavirus vaccines show remarkable efficacy.
The candidates are in Phase 3 clinical trials, the last step before seeking the go-ahead from the Food and Drug Administration.
The news is a promising update as America sees more than 12.9 million infections and more than 263,000 deaths for the virus.
Trump said distribution will begin soon with frontline workers and high-risk populations.
"We are rounding the curb," he said on a video call with troops stationed overseas.
"The vaccines are being delivered literally starting next week and week after, and the frontline workers and seniors and doctors, nurses, a lot of people going to start getting."
The FDA is meeting Monday to talk to Pfizer about giving an emergency authorization for its vaccine to be used.
Trump said the rapid development of the vaccine was a "medical miracle."
"Some people call that a medical miracle really a miracle," he said.
"It could have taken four or five years to do this normally.
"It probably would have taken four or five years, just getting it through the FDA.
"We pushed it very hard," the president revealed.
Gen. Gustave Perna, who is leading Operation Warp Speed's effort to distribute coronavirus vaccines nationwide, told ABC News that he believes the FDA's authorization, which he calls "D-Day," could occur between Dec. 10 and Dec. 14.
Once it's authorized, he said, "24 hours later, vaccines are on the street."
Trump also assured the public about the economy's positive outlook during the call.
He spoke about Tuesday's record achievement in the stock market: the Dow hit 30,000 points for the first time.
"You're doing an incredible job and your country is doing well," he said.
"We just set a record in the stock market over 30,000 in the Dow Jones industrial average."
The president spoke with different members of service stationed around the world.
"Don't eat too much turkey," he told them.
"How is Kuwait doing," he said in his conversations with Army, Marine, and Air Force personnel stationed in Kuwait.
He also spoke with Navy service members on the USS Winston S Churchill in the Red Sea, members of the Space Force in Colorado, and Coast Guard forces in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
When one of the commanders thanked him for doing the call, saying it raised morale during the holiday, Trump replied: "I love doing it and I'm so proud of it."
He also said repeatedly the military is in better shape after his four years in the White House, claiming its equipment is in "tippy-top" shape.
"Your equipment is getting newer and newer and better and better," he told crew members of the Churchill.
"On the Army, we just made a tremendous purchase of equipment," he said.
And he praised one serviceman who said he was a golfer.
The "only exercise there is," joked the president, whose favorite sport is golf.