Trump contradicted the CDC director about the date the Covid-19 vaccine will be available

US President Donald Trump answers questions during a press conference at the White House in Washington. September 16, 2020. REUTERS / Leah Millis

The president of United States, Donald Trump said Wednesday at a press conference from the White House that a coronavirus vaccine could begin shipping by the end of 2020, which contradicted the sayings of a senior government health official.

Indeed, hours before Robert Redfield – director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, for its acronym in English), said that The COVID-19 vaccine could be widely deployed only in the middle of next year or even a little later.

“No, I think he made a mistake when he said that.”Trump said and told reporters he called Redfield. “That is incorrect information. I think he was confused. I think you probably misunderstood the question. I called him and told him, “he said.

Robert R. Redfield, Director of the US CDC.  Anna Moneymaker / Pool via REUTERS
Robert R. Redfield, Director of the US CDC. Anna Moneymaker / Pool via REUTERS

In addition, the president assured that the vaccine would be ready in October or that “it could be announced a little later”, and stated that the administration is ready to begin distribution “immediately.”

Redfield, head of the federal government’s disease control agency, made his comments in testimony before a US Senate panel. There he said the general availability of a vaccine could arrive “at the end of the second quarter, third quarter of 2021”.

“A vaccine could be ready as early as November or December,” Redfield said, but added that it will be the first doses, limited to the most vulnerable. All in all, “to have enough of us immunized to have immunity, I think it’s going to take six to nine months,” he added.

Another point of contention was a statement by Redfield about the effectiveness of the masks, compared to the eventual vaccine. “I would even say that this mask is more likely to protect me against Covid-19 than when it gives me a vaccine because the immunogenicity – the ability to induce an immune response – is 70 percent. And if I don’t generate an immune response, the vaccine won’t protect me, this mask will ”. In this regard, Trump said: “No, the vaccine is much more effective than masks.”

FILE PHOTO: The Democratic candidate for the presidency of the United States, Joe Biden, adjusts his mask before leaving for Orlando from the International Airport of Tampa, Florida, United States.  September 15, 2020. REUTERS / Leah Millis / File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden adjusts his mask before leaving for Orlando from Tampa International Airport, Florida, United States. September 15, 2020. REUTERS / Leah Millis / File Photo

After the president’s statements, Redfield expressed himself on his Twitter account: “I believe 100 percent in the importance of vaccines and in particular that against Covid-19. A vaccine is what will allow us to return to normal life. The best defense we currently have against the virus are mitigating efforts, such as wearing face masks, hand washing, social distancing, and avoiding crowds.”.

Democratic opponents of Trump note that the president is pressuring government health regulators and scientists to hastily approve a vaccine, because that could help him beat Joe Biden, who is first in the polls.

Experts, including senior officials such as the infectologist Anthony Fauci, say that approval for a vaccine is most likely to come towards the end of the year.

In the program broadcast by ABC this week, Trump He was asked whether he had underestimated the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has so far killed nearly 200,000 people in the United States.

“I did not belittle him. Really, in many ways, I overestimated him in terms of action ”, answered.

Coronavirus in the United States.  EFE / Jason Szenes / Archive
Coronavirus in the United States. EFE / Jason Szenes / Archive

But the president himself told renowned journalist Bob Woodward during interviews for his new book that he had decided to “minimize” it to avoid alarming Americans.

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