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Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell said in an excerpt from CBS' "60 Minutes" on Sunday that the U.S. economy may not experience a full recovery until a coronavirus vaccine is available.

The big picture: Earlier Sunday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar predicted the U.S. will be able to return to some degree of normalcy thanks to "traditional public health tools" and that "everything does not depend on a vaccine."

  • Powell stressed that "for the economy to fully recover, people will have to be fully confident" — and that may not happen without a vaccine.
  • However, Powell added that he's optimistic that the economy will "recover steadily" in the second half of the year, assuming there isn't a second wave of the coronavirus.

President Trump has claimed that the U.S. could have a vaccine by the end of the year, a far more ambitious timeline than most public health experts project.

  • Rick Bright, the former director of a key vaccine agency, testified last week that even a 12- to 18-month timeline is "aggressive" and that the U.S. does not have a plan to distribute a vaccine for the coronavirus in a "fair and equitable manner" when one becomes available.

Go deeper: Powell warns of "lasting" economic damage without more stimulus

Go deeper

Aug 25, 2020 - World

Countries put their populations first in scramble for COVID vaccines

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The race is on to test and produce billions of doses of the myriad coronavirus vaccines currently in development — and to determine how they will be distributed if approved for use.

Take three pieces of news from the last 48 hours.

Updated Oct 16, 2020 - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Note: Does not include probable deaths from New York City; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. surpassed 8 million coronavirus cases on Friday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: Coronavirus infections jumped by almost 17% over the past week as the number of new cases across the country increased in 38 states and Washington, D.C., according to a seven-day average tracked by Axios.

Aug 24, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump campaign releases second-term agenda

Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The Trump campaign on Sunday released a 49-point wishlist for President Trump's second term on the eve of the Republican National Convention.

Why it matters: It comes after Trump has repeatedly struggled to detail what his second term might look like, which has both frustrated and worried top Republicans and left critics questioning whether he even had an agenda.