Instead, Adm. Brett Brett P. Giroir, who heads up national testing efforts, and Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and human services, offered a slightly more conservative timetable for vaccine availability.
Both seemed to defend the forecasts made by experts including Dr. Robert Redfield, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who was publicly rebuked by the president for estimating that an effective vaccine may not be widely available to the general public until the middle of next year.
On the CNN program “State of the Union,” Admiral Giroir told the host, Jake Tapper, that “in front of the Senate, Dr. Redfield and I both said that a vaccine that would be widely available in hundreds of millions of doses would not likely happen until mid-2021. That is a fact.”
However, he said, that the president was correct in saying that “We could have as many as a hundred million doses by the end of this year. That is correct.”
“I think everybody is right,” Admiral Giroir said.
Mr. Trump has often promised that the United States would produce a vaccine by Election Day on Nov. 3. But his optimism and projections for widespread