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Coronavirus: Trump says US will ‘crush’ COVID-19 pandemic with vaccine by end of year

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US President Donald Trump on Thursday pledged to "crush" the coronavirus pandemic with a vaccine by the end of the year, as he accepted the Republican nomination for a second term.

"We are marshaling America's scientific genius to produce a vaccine in record time," Trump said. "We will have a safe and effective vaccine this year and together we will crush the virus."

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During his Republican National Convention remarks Thursday, Trump claimed that “hundreds of thousands of more Americans” would have died if his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, had been in office during the pandemic. Already, 180,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus under Trump's watch.

In 2018, the Trump administration decided to dismantle a National Security Council directorate at the White House charged with preparing for a pandemic to hit the nation. Former Obama administration officials have said the Trump White House would have been able to act more quickly to stop spread of the coronavirus had the office still been intact.

Trump also tried to claim that he, unlike Biden, will hold China “fully accountable for the tragedy they caused.” But early in the pandemic, he praised China for its transparency and said they were working hard to contain the virus.

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