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Updates: Trump calls for ‘Phase 4′ stimulus bill, plus Johnson & Johnson invests in latest lead vaccine


President Trump has proposed a possible ‘Phase 4’ stimulus bill as part of the administration’s coronavirus relief efforts. 

On Tuesday, the president said lawmakers should begin renovating bridges, roads and airports through a new $2 trillion stimulus package, according to Fox News

In a tweet Monday morning, Trump wrote, “With interest rates for the United States being at ZERO, this is the time to do our decades long awaited Infrastructure Bill. It should be VERY BIG & BOLD, Two Trillion Dollars, and be focused solely on jobs and rebuilding the once great infrastructure of our Country! Phase 4.”

The president is also expected to share statistical models that may assist with community-level outreach to protect against the novel coronavirus in his press briefing Tuesday evening.

On Monday, the president said, “We will meet again tomorrow for some statistics. As soon as it’s released, the White House model is certain to get thorough vetting by independent experts.”

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle has developed a planning model that predicts the U.S. death toll could reach 84,000 by early August. Though, Dr. Fauci warns that although models are useful, they represent well-informed guesses, according to AP News.

CEO of Johnson & Johnson, Alex Gorsky, told “Mornings with Maria” that his company has identified a lead vaccine to test on human candidates in their efforts to find a treatment for . Testing of the vaccine begins in September, and is predicted to become available for emergency use by early 2021. 

Gorsky hopes to deliver hundreds of millions of doses by early 2021, and one billion doses by the end of 2021, according to Fox News. Under normal circumstances, a vaccine would not be available for about five years. 

Johnson & Johnson has committed over $1 billion to support manufacturing capacity and vaccine research to reach its goal. The investment was made in partnership with the federal Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority under the Department of Health and Human Services.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of a coronavirus test on Tuesday by Bodysphere Inc. that can issue results in nearly two minutes, according to an article by Reuters

The company is working with federal and state governments to deliver the tests for use by medical professionals.


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