In the US, President Trump said the widespread distribution of a vaccine against the coronavirus would happen before the end of the year. His message was a direct contradiction of an earlier statement made by the Centers for Disease Control Director Robert Redfield. The CDC director said earlier in the day that a vaccine would not be widely available until next spring or summer. However, Trump said he expects the government to be able to distribute a vaccine sometime in October. In the same press briefing, Trump also said Redfield’s statement regarding mask use was wrong. Redfield said that wearing a mask was the most important, powerful public health tool we have. Trump instead downplayed the importance of masks while also mocking his Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, for routinely wearing masks in public spaces.
Next, in Japan, Yoshihide Suga took over as Japan's Prime Minister. He is replacing the country's longest-serving premier, Shinzo Abe. Abe recently resigned due to health problems. Suga, 71, was sworn in by Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace after parliament elected him as prime minister. He has promised to continue Abe’s main policies, including his efforts to improve the economy and to remove the restrictions on the use of its military. These restrictions put on Japan after the Second World War. Suga has also promised to maintain the alliance with the United States as the cornerstone of Japan's foreign policy.
Finally, in technology, a plan to save the popular video-sharing app TikTok in the U.S. is being discussed in Washington. TikTok is in danger in the United States because of President Trump's order to shut down TikTok's business, which will take effect in a few days. Trump told reporters that he wants to see an agreement in which ByteDance, TikTok's Chinese parent company, loses its majority ownership of the app, in order to solve TikTok’s problems with data privacy and national security. The software company Oracle beat a competing proposal from Microsoft to keep TikTok alive in the US. However, its offer is not to buy TikTok completely. Instead, Oracle says it wants TikTok to be a "trusted technology partner," a relationship Oracle has still not clearly defined. President Trump has suggested that this deal would not satisfy the US government.