Trump predicts coronavirus vaccine 'before the end of the year' as case count surges in parts of US

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Trump predicts coronavirus vaccine 'before the end of the year' as case count surges in parts of US

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President Trump predicted Thursday during a “Hannity” town hall in Green Bay, Wis. that “before the end of the year, we’ll have a vaccine” for the coronavirus.

Trump told host Sean Hannity that vaccines and therapeutics “are coming along great.”

“I think we’re going to have an answer very soon. Very soon indeed … ” the president said. “We have great companies and we’re totally mobilized. You know, the military is doing it, we’re ready to go. As soon as we have it, we’ll be ready to distribute it all over the country.”

Earlier Thursday, the governors of Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico announced that they had put their states’ reopening process on hold as the number of cases continued to surge. The U.S. reported 34,500 COVID-19 cases Wednesday, slightly fewer than the day before but still near the high of 36,400 reached April 24, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

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Several states set single-day case records this week, including Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas and Oklahoma.

“When you do tests, you have cases,” said Trump, who touted that the U.S. had carried out “almost 30 million coronavirus tests.”

“But, what they don’t say is that there are fewer deaths than there have been,” the president went on. “Way, way down and our mortality rate is among the best in the world.”

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According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hospital visits were six times higher among patients with underlying conditions, and those same patients were 12 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than their counterparts without medical conditions.

The five most prevalent underlying conditions in coronavirus patients are hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and chronic lung disease.

Fox News’ Sean M. Carter and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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