US, UK and Australia working together on COVID-19 vaccine

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US President Donald Trump has warned that as many as 100,000 people could die of coronavirus in the United States as the country's death toll edged close to 70,000 on Monday.

"We think we'll have a vaccine by the end of this year and we're pushing very hard", Trump said.

Scientists around the world are now racing to develop such a vaccine but most experts expect it will only be ready for mass distribution sometime in 2021.

The president, fielding questions from Americans Sunday night in a virtual town hall from the Lincoln Memorial, acknowledged valid fears on both sides of the issue. Now we have to get it open. "You see demonstrations all over the country and those are meaningful demonstrations", he said.

He said there are now more than 750 Us companies with investments in Ireland and over 500 Irish companies that employ 100,000 Americans.

On April 20, the U.S. president said that he wanted to send a team of experts to China to investigate how the coronavirus spread from there to other countries.

"I feel that if I was kind to them, I'd be walked off the stage", Trump said. "So it isn't that much off what I had originally said".

While highlighting that the economic restart of the nation would need to be done safely, Trump struck a note of urgency at Sunday's town hall, saying "we have to reopen our country". This should have been stopped in China.

The plight of the 30 million newly unemployed Americans has clearly weighed heavily on Trump, and he spoke in solidarity with Americans protesting what they view as overly restrictive state orders.

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For weeks, Trump has blamed China for the crisis that has killed at least 67,682 people in the US. He claimed that most of the media "might as well be in the Democrat party".

Others - including two put together by Columbia University in NY - say the 100,000 mark will be long past by June 1.

He said the economic ties between the USA and Ireland will be "more important than ever as we seek to recover from the COVID-19 crisis". I think some of that frustration is warranted.

The town hall, which included an appearance by Vice-President Mike Pence, included a rare mea culpa: The vice-president said he should have worn a face mask during a visit last week to Minnesota's Mayo Clinic.

"There have been many, many states where mobility is starting to go up, even before the social distancing mandates are coming off", said the institute's director Christopher Murray.

Democrats have made clear they want to provide a sizable rescue package for state and local governments as part of a broader bill - one that could total over 2 trillion USA dollars - while some Republicans criticized the idea as unreasonably expensive.

Congressional Republicans have said their next top legislative priority related to the coronavirus will be steps to protect businesses from being sued when the economy begins to reopen.

"Our projections have always been between 100,000 and 240,000 American lives lost, and that's with full mitigation and us learning from each other of how to social distance", Birx said in an interview with "Fox News Sunday".

Several states, including Georgia, have started to reopen their economies.

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