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US COVID Cases Decline and Deaths Plunge to 2-Month Low, Trump Touts Imminent Vaccine

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The number of COVID-19 cases in the US is decreasing, despite health officials warning that the country could see an increase as we head toward the end of this year.

According to Johns Hopkins University, there were just 24,000 new cases reported on Monday - the lowest since June 21.

And the number of deaths from COVID-19 has plunged with 267 recorded on Monday - the lowest since July 4 and far below the record of 2,600 set back in April.

During a Labor Day news conference, President Trump implied that a vaccine for the virus is nearly ready.

"So, we're going to have a vaccine very soon. Maybe even before a very special date," Trump said

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But former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb says a vaccine may take longer.

"If there is a vaccine made available, it's likely to be a very staged introduction of the vaccine under an emergency use authorization," Gottlieb said Sunday on CBS's Face the Nation. "And it's just going to be for very select groups of people who are either at very high risk of contracting a coronavirus because of what they do, for example, health care workers or very high risk of a bad outcome."

"I think the likelihood that we're going to have a vaccine for widespread use in 2020 is extremely low. I think we need to think of that as largely a 2021 event," Gottlieb added.

He pointed out that the upcoming fall and winter seasons will be "more difficult" for controlling the coronavirus.

"We're heading into a more difficult season," Gottlieb told CBS anchor John Dickerson. "We're heading into the fall and the winter when we would expect a respiratory pathogen like a coronavirus to start spreading more aggressively than it would in the summertime."

Last Friday, the CDC reported that outpatient and emergency department visits for people complaining of symptoms that are compatible with COVID-19 has declined.

And the age of hospitalized COVID-19 patients remains highest in people age 50 and older.

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