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Anthony Fauci told CBS News Wednesday it's "possible to shave a couple of months off" his earlier projection that it would take 12–18 months until a novel coronavirus vaccine would be widely available. But he cautioned he didn't want to over-promise and it's "premature" to discuss vaccine trials' data "except to say there have been no glitches."

The big picture: The top U.S. infectious disease expert said the timetable for reopening economies would vary. "The success or failure of that rolling re-entry program ... would be the capability of being able to test, identify, isolate, get someone who is infected out of circulation and do a degree of contact tracing," he said.

"The absolute thing that you would need is to be able to respond and contain whatever rebound you get so that you don't wind up in a situation where you have another escalation."
— Fauci on CBS

Of note: Of note: Per Axios' Bob Herman, Moderna is testing its vaccine in humans, but it won't be widely available for at least 12 months and very possibly a lot longer — and that's if it's found to be safe and effective.

  • However, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel told Goldman Sachs its vaccine could possibly be used for emergency use for "some people, possibly including health care professionals, in the fall of 2020," and the company is scaling up production capacity to millions of doses per month, Herman notes.

Go deeper: What's next in the race for a coronavirus treatment

Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify the timeframe for Moderna's vaccine.

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

The bomb cyclone and atmospheric river seen via satellite on Sunday. The center of the storm is at the middle of the comma shape, due west of Washington State. (CIRA/RAMMB)

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

Mike Allen, author of AM
5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Fauci fires back at Rand Paul for slam on tonight's "Axios on HBO"

Responding to charges by Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday's "Axios on HBO," NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "ABC This Week" that it's "molecularly impossible" for U.S.-funded bat virus research in China to have produced COVID-19.

Why it matters: The issue 0f Wuhan research was reignited on the right last week with a National Institutes of Health letter to Congress disclosing more about the research.

Manchin, Schumer huddle with Biden in Delaware to discuss spending bill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (left) and Sen. Joe Manchin at the U.S. Capitol in 2014. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will meet with President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday morning in Delaware as Democrats look to reach an agreement on the massive spending measure.

Driving the news: Democrats are still negotiating what to keep in the bill and how to pay for it, with Biden saying on Thursday that the party does not have the votes to raise the corporate tax rate.