NATIONWIDE — In an interview with "Fox & Friends," President Donald Trump claimed Tuesday that a coronavirus vaccine could be approved "in a matter of weeks."
"We're going to have a vaccine in a matter of weeks. It could be four weeks, it could be eight weeks," Trump said, claiming he was "not doing it for political reasons."
"I want the vaccine fast," the president said, claiming that the government will begin distributing the vaccine "immediately."
Trump's comments come as many have cast doubt on the effectiveness of a vaccine.
A new Yahoo News/YouGov poll shows that less than a third of Americans would get a coronavirus vaccine, down from 55% in early May, saying that most Americans will wait to see how the vaccine impacts others before getting it themselves.
Meanwhile, an NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll shows that 58% of Americans do not trust Trump's comments on the coronavirus pandemic.
In an interview with Bloomberg, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates questioned whether or not the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) could be trusted on a coronavirus vaccine.
“We saw with the completely bungled plasma statements that when you start pressuring people to say optimistic things, they go completely off the rails. The FDA lost a lot of credibility there,” Gates told Bloomberg.
“Historically, just like the CDC was viewed as the best in the world, the FDA had that same reputation as a top-notch regulator,” he added. “But there’s been some cracks with some of the things they’ve said at the commissioner level.”
Earlier this month, Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris told CNN that she "would not trust" Trump's word alone on the credibility of a vaccine; Trump's opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, said he would "want to see what the scientists said," but added he would take the vaccine "tomorrow" if it was available.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he is confident that a vaccine could be available by the end of 2020 or early 2021, but said the vaccine is unlikely to be widely distributed until late 2021.
"By the time you mobilize the distribution of the vaccine and get a majority or more of the population vaccinated and protected, that’s likely not going to happen until the end of 2021," Fauci told MSNBC. “If you’re talking about getting back to a degree of normality prior to COVID, it’s going to be well into 2021, towards the end of 2021,"
At the end of the interview, Trump said that he believed he would be calling into "Fox & Friends" "every week" — "every Monday, I think they said," Trump added.
"You may want to do it every week, but Fox is not committed to that," co-host Steve Doocy said. "We’ll take it on a case-by-case basis, and Joe Biden as well, is always welcome to join us for 47 minutes, like we just did with the president."