US military labs working to develop coronavirus vaccine, says top US general

Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley testifies before a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington February 26, 2020. — Reuters pic
Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley testifies before a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington February 26, 2020. — Reuters pic

WASHINGTON, March 3 — US government military laboratories are working to develop a vaccine for the fast-spreading coronavirus, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said yesterday.

“The military labs are in fact working very consistently, not only on that vaccine but all kinds of things,” General Mark Milley said at a Pentagon briefing. “So we'll see how that develops over the next couple of months.”

He said one of the labs was in Fort Detrick, Maryland.

Top US health officials have said any vaccine is up to 18 months away and there is no treatment for the respiratory disease, although patients can receive supportive care.

Protective gear and test kits are being distributed to US military facilities with a priority on distribution to the Korean Peninsula, Milley said. South Korea reported 599 new cases yesterday, taking its national tally to 4,335. There have been 26 deaths.

The number of coronavirus cases in the United States has ticked up in recent days, with more than 75 confirmed cases including two reported deaths.

Authorities across the United States prepared for more cases of illness caused by the new coronavirus with the emphasis on ratcheting up the number of available test kits. — Reuters

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