Trump contradicts CDC director on Covid-19 vaccines after Biden slams president’s promises

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President Donald Trump asserted Wednesday that a Covid-19 vaccine could be ready for distribution as early as mid-October – hours after the CDC chief said he likely wouldn’t be ready until the end of the year and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has expressed concern that he is putting politics before security.

“We are all ready to distribute immediately. We’re ready to – it could be October or November. It could be later, but I think it will be in October, ”Trump told reporters at a press briefing. where he also said he believed a coronavirus vaccine would be ready by “mid-October”.

“We will be able to distribute at least 100 million doses of vaccine by the end of 2020. And many much sooner than that,” Trump said.

In testimony before the Senate on Wednesday, the chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Robert Redfield, said that a vaccine would probably not be ready until the end of November or December and that it would take “six to nine” months for every American to be vaccinated. He predicted he would be able to return to “normal life” by the end of next year.

“By no means will it be as late as the doctor said. We are ready at a much faster level than he said ”, continued the president, affirming that there would be an immediate mass distribution of the vaccine to people at high risk but to the general public as well.

Trump said he believed Redfield was confused in his testimony. “I think he made a mistake in saying that. It’s just incorrect information, ”Trump said.

Asked why people should trust him over his CDC director, Trump replied “because of the great job” he has done.

The comments came shortly after Biden said he did not trust Trump to safely oversee the federal government’s approval and release of a Covid-19 vaccine.

“I trust vaccines, I trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald Trump,” Biden said during a speech in Wilmington, Delaware.

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Biden then tweeted a clip of Trump contradicting Redfield, repeating the quote of “trust” and adding, “that’s what I meant.”

Trump’s predictions that a vaccine would be ready before Election Day contradicted the timeline that many health experts say is realistic.

Several candidate vaccines have entered the final stages of testing in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said earlier this month that states should start preparing for a “large-scale” distribution of Covid-19 vaccines by November 1 – two days before the presidential election – so that the chief of the Food and Drug Administration raised the possibility that the agency could use its emergency authority to quickly approve a vaccine before the end of clinical trials. These directives have led many critics of Trump to question whether they were taken due to political interference from the White House.

Biden repeated his message Wednesday that “we cannot allow politics to interfere in any way with the vaccine” and pointed to questionable statements Trump has made in the past that are not supported by the science.

“He has no respect for science,” Biden said.

“This is the same guy who said, squirt bleach,” he added. “He’s the guy who said, if you want to stop hurricanes from reaching the United States, drop a nuclear weapon on them. “

In his presentation, Trump said Biden’s rhetoric was dangerous.

“I call on Biden to stop promoting his anti-vaccine theories because all they do is undermine the importance of what we do and I know if they were in that position they would say how that’s wonderful. They recklessly endanger lives. You can’t do that, ”he said, accusing Democrats of“ speaking negatively ”about a vaccine only“ because they know we have it or will have it soon ”.

The president also targeted the handling of the swine flu crisis by Biden and former President Barack Obama, saying “it was a total disaster.”

Trump also continued to berate Redfield and targeted other comments he made during his testimony about the importance of wearing a mask. Redfield testified that it is currently “the most important and powerful public health tool we have”.

“I could even go so far as to say that this face mask is safer to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine,” Redfield testified.

Trump again suggested Redfield was confused and said he made “a mistake.”

“The vaccine is much more effective than the mask,” Trump said, calling the face covers a “mixed bag”.

Redfield appeared to change his mind after Trump’s briefing, tweeting “I believe 100% in the importance of vaccines and in particular the importance of a # COVID19 vaccine. A COVID-19 vaccine is what will bring Americans back to normal everyday life. ”

In a second tweet, he added: “The best defense we currently have against this virus is the important mitigation effort of wearing a mask, washing hands, social distancing and paying attention to people. crowds. “

During the briefing, Trump was also asked if he should wear masks more often publicly to be a good role model.

Trump said he thought he was a good role model, before mocking Biden about how much he wears his mask.

“Joe feels very safe in a mask,” Trump said. “Maybe he doesn’t want to expose his face. “

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