Coronavirus drug could start production this month: Peter Navarro

Vaccine could be ready 'hopefully as early as next November'

With the coronavirus outbreak posing a threat to the global economy, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro offered some hope Friday night.

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Navarro told FOX Business' Lou Dobbs on his eponymous primetime show that the White House is pushing ahead and "moving at Trump time" on a treatment drug and are hopeful testing and production could begin "as early as the end of the month, mid-March."

It is a promising development as headlines are dominated by stories such as the death toll from the coronavirus in mainland China -- which as of Friday night stood at 1,523. China's National Health Commission says the total number of confirmed cases in the country stands at more than 66,400 people.

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Navarro said five large American companies are hard at work, trying to get 150 million doses of a vaccine ready "hopefully as early as next November," but stressed, "it's going to require great effort on research and development.

One drug, produced by pharmaceutical giant Gilead, called remdesivir, Navarro said "looks promising, and the thing that we need absolutely to do is get that into rapid clinical trials."

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Despite the crisis emanating from China, Navarro said the Chinese have not been cooperative in expediating that process.

"What we're doing is we're going down a different avenue to get that done," Navarro said. "If we can get that done, we can ramp the production up and have that to treat people."

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Navarro reminded everyone that, in order to get that vaccine out, the administration has to get the FDA and EPA involved.

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