Donald Trump says there will be no lockdown in the United States while his administration remains in the White House.
Trump gave his first address to the public since losing the US election to Joe Biden six days ago and refused to concede.
“This administration will not go to a lockdown. Lockdown cost lives and a lot of problems,” he said.
Trump gave a detailed update on Operation Warp Speed, the US’s policy to create a vaccine for Covid-19, proceeded in “record time”.
“No medical breakthrough of this scope or magnitude has ever been achieved this quickly,” he said.
US Covid-19 cases have surpassed 10 million, with 163,000 new infections yesterday.
More than 243,000 people have died of the virus in the US.
Operation Warp Speed was unrivalled anywhere in the world, he said.
Trump said he had been congratulated by leaders around the world.
“It’s been an incredible effort,” he said.
Trump said that Pfizer announced on Monday that its vaccine was 90 per cent effective.
The White House has given Pfizer nearly US$2 billion for the vaccine and that it would provide doses to Americans “free of charge”.
Pfizer made “an unfortunate misrepresentation”, Trump said, when the company said the vaccine development was not part of Operation Warp Speed.
Pfizer did not accept federal funding to help develop or manufacture the vaccine, unlike front-runners Moderna and AstraZeneca, the New York Times reported.
Pfizer has distanced itself from Trump and Operation Warp Speed.
In an interview with the New York Times, Kathrin Jansen, a senior vice president and the head of vaccine research and development at Pfizer, said, “We were never part of the Warp Speed,” adding, “we have never taken any money from the U.S. government, or from anyone.”
Authorisation for the vaccine would come down “very soon”, Trump said.
“It will be approved very very quickly, we hope,” he said.
Development of the vaccine was “five times faster” than the quickest vaccine development in history.
“Five times faster, say it again,” Trump said.
The elderly, frontline workers and the vulnerable would get access first.
Trump said he would be ahead of his own schedule.
Trump said case levels were high but that was because the US had high levels of testing.
The vaccine would help the elderly recover their “golden years”.
Trump said in April the vaccine would be available for the general public, except in New York state.
“This is a very successful, amazing vaccine,” he said.
Trump claimed the US had among the lowest fatality rates for Covid-19 in the world and claimed the US had performed better than “peer countries,” without listing any.
Trump also said the drug cocktail which he took when he was a Covid-19 patient would be available to other patients.
“We have some tremendously promising drugs,” he said.
Trump claimed there wasn’t one person in the US who had requested a ventilator and didn’t get one.
Despite being away from cameras, Trump has been busy tweeting baseless theories regarding fraud in the election.
Earlier this morning, US news networks called the final batch of states, completing election results in the country.
The states of Arizona and Georgia have been called for Biden, cementing his victory. Trump is the projected winner in North Carolina.
The Trump campaign team is still pursuing legal action to contest the results but experts say none of the cases are expected to alter the results.
As it stands, Biden has won the US election with 306 electoral votes – the same number of electoral votes that gave Trump the victory four years ago.
What Trump would need to do to overturn Biden's win
So, now that we have the final result, let’s get a bit theoretical.
Joe Biden has won 306 electoral votes. What would Donald Trump have to do, hypothetically, to overturn the result?
The path of least resistance here (I’m using that term loosely) would be for the President’s legal team to somehow flip:
1. Georgia (where Mr Biden is up by 14,000 votes)
2. Pennsylvania (Mr Biden is up by 59,000)
3. Arizona (Mr Biden is up by 11,000)
Those three would do it.
Mr Trump has also been talking about Wisconsin (where Mr Biden leads by 20,000) and Michigan (where he leads by 148,000). There is going to be a recount in Wisconsin, though it would be most unusual for that to shift more than a few hundred votes.
The most fundamental point here hasn’t changed – Mr Trump and his lawyers have yet to produce any evidence to back up their claims of widespread fraud. None of the lawsuits they’ve filed so far would threaten Mr Biden’s margin in a single one of the states listed above.
Put aside the fact that many of those lawsuits have been promptly thrown out by judges due to lack of proof. They simply don’t involve enough votes to shift the election’s outcome anyway.
– With news.com.au
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