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Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump's convention speech last night did not frame the coronavirus as a thing that's over, the way some of the other programming during the convention had.

What happened: He acknowledged the 180,000 Americans who have died, and the toll on their families, and used the present and future tenses to describe a response that is still ongoing, but he painted a rosier picture of the U.S. response, and made bolder predictions, than the facts fully support.

Trump promised that the U.S. "will produce a vaccine by the end of the year, or maybe even sooner."

  • There's just no way to promise that — at least not responsibly. The progress so far has been encouraging, but all of the leading candidates are still being tested to find out whether they work.

He also said convalescent plasma — the treatment the FDA controversially authorized last week — will "save thousands of lives."

  • The evidence is much thinner than that; clinical studies into its effectiveness are still ongoing.

As for the rest of his health care agenda, Trump made fairly typical exaggerations of his record on drug prices. It is certainly true that the administration has proposed some ambitious plans to rein in pharmaceutical pricing, but it has hardly enacted any of those proposals.

  • And he said that in a second term, he would "end surprise medical billing, require price transparency, and further reduce the cost of prescription drugs and health insurance premiums."
  • The administration has required price transparency for hospitals, despite the industry's staunch opposition, and it also imposed new price disclosure rules on drugs, though they have been blocked by the courts.

The bottom line: There wasn't much here that you haven't already heard, and the reality of the coronavirus remains what you know it to be: The U.S. has handled this far worse than any other rich country on Earth.

Go deeper

Dec 5, 2020 - Health

WHO: COVID-19 reinfections may occur as antibodies diminish

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

World Health Organization officials warned Friday that although it's rare, recent data suggests some people may become reinfected with the coronavirus as their antibody response diminishes, CNBC reports.

Driving the news: Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies program, said data has emerged that suggests "protection may not be lifelong" for people who have had the coronavirus, and "therefore we may see reinfections begin to occur."

Dec 5, 2020 - Health

Study: Americans increasingly say they would get vaccinated for COVID-19

Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The number of Americans who say they plan to get vaccinated for the coronavirus increased between September and November, according to a Pew Research Center study published this week.

The big picture: As vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna await emergency approval, NIAID director Anthony Fauci said this week he expects the general population to have access to the vaccines U.S regulators are considering by April. Fauci noted that if the "overwhelming majority" of Americans embraced coronavirus immunization by the end of the second quarter.