Coronavirus Newsbites

Coronavirus vaccine: US seals $2.1bn deal with drug companies for 100 million doses
The United States has agreed a $2.1bn (£1.6bn) deal with two big pharmaceutical companies to produce 100 million doses of an experimental Covid-19 vaccine.

British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline and French counterpart Sanofi Pasteur announced the agreement with the US government on Friday.

The deal is believed to be the largest such agreement to date, as countries start purchasing vaccine doses in the hope that one will complete trials.

Coronavirus: Dr Fauci says Europe better at managing Covid-19 than US due to widespread shutdown
Dr Anthony Fauci says that Europe’s more stringent shutdown rules allowed it to better manage the Covid-19 pandemic in comparison to the US.

Testifying before the congressional committee on the coronavirus he said: “We really functionally shut down only about 50 per cent in the sense of the totality of the country.”

Dr Fauci argued that US shutdowns didn’t go far enough and that states opened up too soon.

Jared Kushner scrapped national coronavirus strategy in political move to blame governors of Democrat states hit hardest, report claims
A national coronavirus strategy developed by a second taskforce led by Jared Kushner was shelved to score political points against Democrat governors, according to new reports in Vanity Fair.

In March, Mr Kushner was appointed to the taskforce, separate from the White House's official group led by Mike Pence, to develop a nationwide testing and supply plan.

Quoting an unnamed public-health expert in frequent contact with the taskforce, Vanity Fair reported that a member of Mr Kushner's team suggested a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically because the virus had hit blue states hardest.

Trump says to 'read the manuals' when asked who told him that you can 'test too much' for COVID-19
  • President Donald Trump said in a new interview that there's such a thing as too much testing for coronavirus.
  • When asked where he got his information from, Trump told Axios reporter Jonathan Swan to "read the manuals" and "read the books."
  • The president frequently alternates between praising himself for the US's expanding testing capability and claiming that testing is "overrated" and makes the country "look bad."
  • He's also falsely said that the US has the world's worst coronavirus outbreak because it does more testing than any other country.

Trump administration accused of failing to plan for rollout of coronavirus vaccine
US health officials and state politicians are growing increasingly concerned that the Donald Trump White House is not prepared to oversee and execute a coronavirus vaccine rollout.

Danielle Koeing told Reuters that her requests for information to the federal government have been unanswered since April.

“We have not heard anything from the federal government since 23 April,” she said.