Dr Fauci throws cold water on Trump's boasts that a COVID vaccine is imminent
Dr Anthony Fauci (Photo: Screen capture)

President Donald Trump has repeatedly promised that a COVID-19 vaccine is just around the corner, sometimes even claiming that it could be available before Election Day.

But in a new interview with The Daily Beast, top infectious disease expert and coronavirus task force official Dr. Anthony Fauci stamped out the president's promises, saying there is no way to guarantee the current candidate vaccines' effectiveness for the time being — and that the president himself has not seen the data from the trials yet.

"These are blind placebo-controlled trials," said Fauci. "The only ones who see the data intermittently is the safety data monitoring board ... a single unblinded statistician. Those data are not public data, no one can know what those data show. That person looks at the data and says, 'OK, let's keep the trial going, we don't have enough data to make a decision.' Or that person can look at the data and say, 'You know, there really is a very strong signal of efficacy, let's make it known.' We bring in the company, we tell the company, then the company can make up their mind, whether they want to use that data to go to the [Federal Drug Administration for approval]."

Fauci has previously said that he expects we will know whether the vaccine is safe and effective by November or December, but he has not made any promises about when it will be ready for widespread distribution to the public.