NIH director: ‘No way of knowing’ if coronavirus escaped from Wuhan lab

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NIH director: ‘No way of knowing’ if coronavirus escaped from Wuhan lab

Collins, who had not previously commented publicly on the situation, told POLITICO that “the NIH cannot discuss individual grants.”

The agency chief, who is leading a public-private partnership called ACTIV to hunt for coronavirus vaccines and drugs, said that if “all goes perfectly,” a few million doses of vaccine could be available in October for high-risk groups — with doses available sometime next winter for the rest of the country.

Trump has repeatedly promised a vaccine by the end of the year, much faster than any has ever been developed for any condition.

If China develops a coronavirus vaccine before the U.S. does, Collins said he “seriously hopes” that any tensions between the countries “wouldn’t be a dominant factor” in determining whether the U.S. would have access to a Chinese-manufactured shot.


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