Dr. Anthony Fauci says Americans should trust credibility of COVID-19 vaccine process

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Dr. Anthony Fauci said he is "cautiously optimistic" that a COVID-19 vaccine will be developed by the end of the year. Credit: Kevin Dietsch/Pool/Latin America News Agency

Dr. Anthony Fauci downplayed concerns about the safety of a COVID-19 vaccine during a conversation on Tuesday at the 2020 Texas Tribune Festival.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a leader in the U.S. response to the novel coronavirus, said Americans should feel confident in the development and efficacy of a vaccine. This comes as a growing majority of people say they are not likely to be immunized as soon as a vaccine is available.

It's "disturbing" that so many people are reticent to get a vaccine, he said, blaming “mixed messages that have come out of Washington” for waning public trust.