The United States’ top infectious disease official said Thursday that two coronavirus vaccines being tested were “solid,” and that the speed at which they were developed has not compromised safety or integrity.
Anthony Fauci spoke at a rare briefing from the White House virus task force to reassure some public concerns about the two vaccines — one from Pfizer/BioNTech and the other by Moderna — after both companies announced successful trials.
“The process of the speed did not compromise at all safety nor did it compromise scientific integrity. It was a reflection of the extraordinary scientific advances in these types of vaccines which allowed us to do things in months that actually took years before,” he said.
And he sought to address fears that the vaccine announcements may have been politically driven.
“It was actually an independent body of people who have no allegiance to anyone — not to the administration, not to me, not to the companies — that looked at the data and deemed it to be sound,” he said.
Next the data will be carefully examined by the Food and Drug Administration, he said. BioNTech has said it will apply to the FDA for emergency use authorization by Friday.
“So we need to put to rest any concept that this was rushed in an inappropriate way. This is really solid,” Fauci continued.
The BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna shots have taken the lead in the global chase for a vaccine, after large-scale trial data this month showed that their jabs were around 95 percent effective against Covid-19.
The twin breakthroughs have lifted hopes for an end to a pandemic that has infected more than 56 million people and caused more than 1.3 million deaths worldwide since the virus first emerged in China late last year.
San Francisco imposes curfew after spike in coronavirus cases
A surge in coronavirus cases will put San Francisco under a curfew beginning on Monday and trigger other restrictions related to the virus, the city announced.
The curfew requires non-essential businesses to close and prohibits members of different households from gathering between 10 pm and 5 am until December 21, Mayor London Breed said Saturday.
San Mateo county outside San Francisco will also be subject to the same rules after the state of California classified both under its most restrictive tier of locations based on the spread of the virus.
In addition to the curfew, certain indoor businesses will be required to either close or reduce capacity beginning on Sunday at noon, Breed said.
McConnell to suspend in-person GOP lunches to keep Republicans from infecting each other with COVID: report
Republican senators are taking action to protect caucus members from infecting each other with COVID-19 as cases soar across America.
"Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will temporarily suspend in-person lunches for the GOP caucus, amid a nationwide spike in coronavirus cases," Politico reported Saturday.
"McConnell’s decision comes as the Senate’s seen a recent uptick in members contracting the disease. Both Sens. Rick Scott (R-FA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) have tested positive for the virus in recent weeks, while Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) announced she’d received a positive test before proceeding to test negative," correspondent Marianne Levine reported.
Anti-vax groups online are helping to radicalize the QAnon movement
The alliance between anti-vaxxers and QAnon followers is rapidly increasing as they continue their efforts to spread massive amounts of disturbing misinformation amid the pandemic. One glaring example centers around one incident that occurred last week.
Facebook opted to nix a massive anti-vaccination propaganda group with more than 200,000 members last week. However, the group was not shut down for the dangerous public health misinformation its members posted, but rather, the disturbing promotion of QAnon, reports Huffington Post.