Celebrity “Science Guy” Bill Nye claimed in May that it would likely be two years before a vaccine was available for the novel coronavirus.
Nye made an appearance on CNN in mid-May to discuss the impact that science and technology would have in developing therapeutics, vaccines and new ways to test for and detect the virus. (RELATED: ‘They Can Wait’: Ana Navarro Says White House Staffers Don’t Deserve Early Shot At COVID Vaccine)
Nye responded to the technological advances that were already changing the way Americans fought the virus, such as using robots to remind people to observe social distancing guidelines and developing phone apps that could assist in contact tracing.
“We absolutely have the science and technology to address this virus,” Nye said.
But Nye cautioned that it would be an uphill battle without better coordination and cooperation with other nations. “You can’t address a virus that can cross state boarders at the speed of the wind without having a national or, indeed, international program,” he explained.
As far as a vaccine was concerned, Nye said that it was likely to be two years before a reliable vaccine was developed.
“It’s two years, everybody. Two years before a vaccine,” Nye said.
“Even with all the technology we have right now?” the reporter pressed.
“Yeah, I think two years to get something that people trust,” Nye repeated.
But Operation Warp Speed appears to have delivered much faster than Nye expected: Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine candidate was the first to get emergency approval from the FDA on December 11, just seven months later. Another vaccine candidate from Moderna could be approved for emergency usage as early as this week.