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Trump says Pfizer taking ‘tremendous financial risk’ in coronavirus vaccine development

President Trump on Wednesday said Pfizer was taking a “tremendous financial risk” in developing a coronavirus vaccine but that the pharmaceutical giant is confident in the results.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla has said the company could possibly know by October whether its potential vaccine to combat COVID-19 is effective.

“They’re taking a tremendous risk and they’re spending billions of dollars on actually making this vaccine,” Trump told reporters at a White House briefing, “They’re at this stage where they’re actually making it because they feel very confident as to the results.”

He said the company would be announcing its findings “very soon.”

Trump also disputed a timeline on a vaccine after Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the U.S.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told Congress earlier in the day that it would be ready for the public, possibly by the third quarter of next year.

Trump said he believed Redfield was “confused.”

“I think he made a mistake when he said that. It’s just incorrect information,” Trump said.

He said the first vaccine doses could be distributed immediately once they are ready. The development of a vaccine is part of “operation Warp Speed,” the Trump administration’s $1.95 billion deal with the Pfizer and the German firm, BioNTech.

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Pfizer’s Bourla recently said there is a “good chance” he will know by late October if the company’s potential vaccine will work.

“In our best case we have quite a good chance — more than 60% — but we will know if the product works or not by the end of October,” Bourla said in a recent interview. “It doesn’t mean that it works, It means that we will know if it works.”

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