President Donald Trump sought to show his personal engagement in the fight against coronavirus, meeting with drug company executives on Monday to elicit promises of new medicines and announcing he’ll visit federal health agencies later in the week.
At the White House meeting, executives from Gilead Sciences, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline Plc, Sanofi, Pfizer and other manufacturers told Trump they were making rapid progress on vaccines and antivirals to combat the coronavirus, which has infected about 100 people in the country and killed six.
The manufacturers said they hope to have antiviral treatments ready within months and vaccines by next year. Gilead chairman and chief executive officer Daniel O’Day told Trump that his company may test a promising antiviral in Washington state, where all six deaths have occurred.
“It’s a very optimistic meeting. I didn’t realise you were that far advanced,” Trump said. “Get it done. We need it.”