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‘Blanket lockdown’ should end now, Trump says, touting ‘2 million vaccines ready’ if they’re declared safe

‘Blanket lockdown’ should end now, Trump says, touting ‘2 million vaccines ready’ if they’re declared safe
Donald Trump has called for an end to the "blanket lockdown" of US states, imposed to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, and hailed the country’s “tremendous” progress on finding a safe vaccine.

“We want the continued blanket lockdown to end,” the US president said during remarks at the White House on Friday, suggesting that the liberal coastal states of California and New York should hurry up the process of reopening. He also praised Florida for easing restrictions sooner.

Trump claimed the country has "over 2 million" Covid-19 vaccine doses "ready to go" if they are approved as being safe. Top White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said earlier this week that "we hope to have" a couple of million doses of a vaccine by early 2021. Fauci expressed doubts, however, about the "durability" of vaccines, saying they might not provide immunity for long durations.

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Trump also lauded his administration’s efforts on Covid-19 as the biggest mobilization "since the Second World War.” He said the best strategy now was to focus resources on "protecting high-risk populations, like the elderly and those in nursing homes, while allowing younger and healthy Americans to get back to work immediately."

As of June 5, more than 108,000 Americans have died due to Covid-19, while over 1.8 million have been diagnosed with the virus.

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