El presidente Donald Trump expressed his renewed confidence this Wednesday that a viable covid-19 vaccine will be ready for October, directly contradicting a health expert in his government and facing fierce criticism from his election rival, Joe Biden.
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Trump sowed confusion over the vaccine issue with an extraordinary public reprimand of one of its leading health experts, who said that masks were the main weapon to combat the pandemic and that a vaccine was unlikely to be widely available until mid-2021.
“I think he made a mistake when he said that. It’s just wrong information.”Trump told reporters, referring to testimony before the Senate by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Robert Redfield.
I’m just saying we’re ready to start as soon as the vaccine is produced
“We are very close to that vaccine (…) We think we can start sometime in October “or shortly afterTrump said. “I’m just saying that we are ready to start as soon as the vaccine is produced,” he stressed.
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Redfield told lawmakers Wednesday that a “very limited” distribution of the vaccine to priority groups could begin in November and December, but that the full implementation would take at least many more months.
A vaccine accessible to all Americans to “return to normal life” will not be available until “end of the second or third quarter of 2021”he explained.
Later, Redfield posted a tweet in support of a potential vaccine, but also warned “that the best current defense against the virus are major prevention efforts, such as wearing masks, handwashing…”.
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The best defense we currently have against this virus are the important mitigation efforts of wearing a mask, washing your hands, social distancing and being careful about crowds. #COVID19
— Dr. Robert R. Redfield (@CDCDirector) September 16, 2020
The vaccine that does not arrive
The United States is the country most affected in the world by covid-19 with about 200,000 deaths and 6.6 million infections.
The contradiction between Trump and health experts on this central issue of the campaign for the November 3 elections, highlighted the lack of trust that Biden said he and citizens have towards the president in the management of the pandemic.
“When I said I trust vaccines, and I trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald Trump – this is what I meant,” Biden tweeted after Trump’s comments.
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Shortly before, the Democratic candidate for the White House had said that the Republican president’s refusal to take forceful measures against the pandemic, such as enacting national guidelines on social distancing and application of tests, He “totally disqualifies” him for a second term.
After receiving a briefing from public health experts, Biden said the process to get the vaccine should be guided by science and safety, not because of politics.
This Tuesday, Trump accelerated his already optimistic predictions, saying that a vaccine could be available even before the election. “We’re just weeks away from getting it, you know, it could be three or four weeks“Trump said in a question and answer session with voters in Pennsylvania.
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“He is the president”
Democrats expressed concern that Trump is putting pressure on health regulators and scientists to get a vaccine approved in time to help you make up for your survey lag.
Trump frowned when asked why he had downplayed the severity of the pandemic in the first few months. “I didn’t downplay it,” he replied. “In fact, in many ways, I highlighted it in terms of taking action.”
But Trump himself told journalist Bob Woodward during taped interviews in February and March that had deliberately decided to “minimize” the severity of covid-19 to avoid alarming Americans.
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The president, whom He is rarely seen wearing a mask in public and who for a long time refused to ask Americans to adopt the habit, said that “A lot of people don’t want to wear masks and people don’t think masks are good.”
The comment was heavily criticized, even by Biden, who also reproached Trump for saying that the Democrat refused to enact a mandate on the use of a mask. “I am not the president, he is the president,” Biden said.
Trump’s anti-mask message also took a hit from Redfield, who showed senators a medical mask and said: “I could go as far as saying that this mask guarantees my protection against covid more than if I had a vaccine.”
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I think there are many problems with the masks
Trump rejected the claim, noting that he called Redfield to ask what he meant. “I think there are a lot of problems with the masks,” Trump said. “It is no more effective than a vaccine.”
Biden appears at campaign events wearing a mask, and usually takes it off to give a speech, which has sparked mockery from Trump. According to polls, a majority of Americans disapprove of Trump’s handling of the pandemic.
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