Today US public health leaders addressed a Senate committee hearing and clarified the country’s response to the growing COVID-19 outbreak that is now seeded in multiple communities.

“It will take at least a year to a year in a half to have a vaccine we can use,” said National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director Anthony Fauci, MD. Though work on a novel coronavirus vaccine has been some of the fastest on record, Fauci said, he explained to senators that a vaccine candidate must be proven safe and efficacious in a multi-step trial process.

Senators also asked questions of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat, MD, about CDC testing, and lawmakers were told several times throughout the hearing that public health labs would see a major increase in testing capacity by the end of the week.

Fauci also said the United States was “pretty close” to a COVID-19 blood test that could quickly and easily be used in clinics and hospitals.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Boosting respirator supply

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