President Donald Trump on Tuesday contradicted his head of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, saying he was "confused" and "made a mistake" when he told Congress that a coronavirus vaccine would not be available until the second quarter of next year be generally available.
Trump also said Dr. Robert Redfield must have "misunderstood" a question when he told a Senate committee: "I could even go so far as to say that this face mask protects me more from COVID than if I take a COVID vaccine." . & # 39;
He opened a major public argument with one of his senior doctors at a nearly hour-long outdoor coroanvirus briefing during which he also announced that a White House employee had tested positive but said, "You weren't around me."
In what appears to be an iteration of his public feuds with Dr. Tony Fauci – and his disagreement with his own weather forecasts for Hurricane Dorian – he repeatedly claimed that the CDC director's sworn evidence to the Senate was confused, false and that he did not understand the question.
Trump tried to start the briefing by accusing Joe Biden of being an anti-vaccine after the Democratic candidate said he "trusts scientists with the vaccine, but not Donald Trump," but was high on a day of his own medical experts separately as both numbers and deaths showed the first increase since July.
"No, the mask is no more important than the vaccine," Trump told reporters he called Redfield on Wednesday to correct him. “Maybe he misunderstood both of them,” he said of the two questions US Senators put to Redfield that morning.
President Donald Trump contradicted his own CDC chief at Wednesday's press conference, calling Dr. Robert Redfield as "confused" and "wrong" because he said vaccines wouldn't be widely available until mid-2021 and masks work better than vaccines
Dr. Robert Redfield testified before a Senate committee Wednesday morning, saying "a face mask protects me more from COVID than if I take a COVID vaccine". He also said a COVID-19 vaccine wouldn't be widely available until the second or third quarter of 2021
I told you: How Joe Biden reacted during the White House briefing
WAS DR. REDFIELD & # 39; Confused & # 39 ;? READ HIS WORDS AND DECIDE FOR YOURSELF
Dr. Robert Redfield testified to Senators when John Kennedy (R-LA) asked him:
"Tell me if you think you have – as best you can – a vaccine that can be given to the public, Dr. Redfield."
Redfield: "Well, I believe Dr. Kadlec said I think there will be a vaccine that will initially be available between November and December but has very limited supply and needs to be prioritized.
“If you're asking me when it will be generally available to the American public so we can start using the vaccine to get back to our normal lives, then we're probably looking at the third, late second, and third quarters of 2012. & # 39;
Kennedy: And you think we started vaccinating people in the late second or third quarter?
Redfield: I think vaccination will start and resume in November and December and that as you know will be prioritized. Those first responders and those at greatest risk of death and eventually that will expand. You know, it's hard to believe, but there are about 80 million people in our country who have significant comorbidities that put themselves at risk. You need to be vaccinated. And then the general public. & # 39;
He was later asked by Jack Reed (D-RI):
“It is also the leader of the country trying to cope with a disease, a pandemic that has killed over 100,000 people, and he rejects this strong advice that you repeatedly give and that you yourself demonstrate. Dr. Redfield, your comment. «
Redfield: "I'm not going to go directly into the President, but I will comment as CDC Director that face masks – these face masks – are the most important and powerful public health tool we have.
And I will continue to urge all Americans, all people in our country, to wear these face covers. I said if we did it for six, eight, ten, twelve weeks we would get this pandemic under control.
We actually have clear scientific evidence that they work, and they are our best defense. I could even go so far as to say that this face mask protects me more from Covid than if I took a Covid vaccine, as the immunogenicity can be 70%. And if I don't get an immune response, the vaccine won't protect me. This face mask will. & # 39;
But during a long briefing, Trump said he still had faith in Redfield.
"I do, I do," he replied.
But he said Redfield heard wrong.
"I think he misunderstood a question somehow," Trump said again.
On Wednesday morning, Redfield testified before a Senate committee that while first responders might have access to a vaccine in November or December 2020, most Americans wouldn't get it until the second or third quarter of 2021 – which means a full year from 2021 now.
By early afternoon, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany had denied that schedule.
"We believe it will be generally available by the end of the year," said the press secretary.
And Trump repeated that claim later in the day.
“I think he made a mistake. I was very surprised to hear that. It really doesn't matter, we are all ready to distribute immediately, ”said the President. I got the impression that he didn't know he was saying what he could have said. I didn't see him say. & # 39;
Trump even brought Dr. Scott Atlas, who has held a number of contrary positions on the coronavirus and is not an epidemiologist, took the podium to make sure the government was ready to distribute the vaccine immediately.
During the briefing, Biden tweeted, "When I said I trust vaccines and I trust scientists, but I don't trust Donald Trump – that's what I meant."
Following Trump's remarks, a Redfield spokesperson told ABC News that he was "answering a question he believed related to the time period by which all Americans would have completed their COVID vaccination."
"He was not referring to the period during which COVID-19 vaccine doses would be made available to all Americans."
The statement also included quotations from Redfield on what he had said about masks.
I believe 100 percent on the importance of vaccines and the importance of a COVID-19 vaccine in particular. A COVID-19 vaccine is getting Americans back to normal, ”Redfield said.
"The best defense we currently have against this virus is the important mitigation measures of wearing a mask, washing your hands, being socially distant and being careful with crowds," he added.
On Wednesday before, the government published a "playbook" to make vaccines for COVID-19 available to all Americans free of charge in January. They should be delivered within 24 hours of approval by the regulatory authorities.
Trump also said of Redfield, "Maybe he doesn't understand the sales process."
The president originally focused his coronavirus anger on his political rival, Democrat Joe Biden, who spoke in Wilmington on Wednesday expressing concerns that a vaccine would be accelerated to aid the president's re-election process.
“So let me be clear, I trust vaccines. I trust the scientists. But I don't trust Donald Trump – and neither do the American people, "Biden said there and announced some safety standards that he would like to introduce.
Biden also mocked a response Trump gave Tuesday night when asked why he wasn't promoting more widespread use of masks, a prospect the president has been focusing on.
"He said because the waiters don't like her, the waiters touch the food and touch the mask," scoffed Biden. & # 39; Come on. & # 39;
Trump made the same point Wednesday in the briefing room.
He also expressed that Biden was too comfortable in a mask.
& # 39; Joe feels very safe in a mask. Maybe he doesn't want to expose his face, ”Trump said. "I do not know what's up."
"There is no reason for him to put on masks," added the president, noting that Biden had not held any large rallies as the Democrat was concerned about the spread of the coronavirus.
The ugly public differences with the CDC director came after adminsitration unveiled its "playbook" for shipping coronavirus vaccines within 24 hours of regulatory approval.
No company has completed testing or FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval for its coronavirus vaccines.
Still, Trump has continued to insist that a vaccine will be ready in a few weeks – before election day on November 3rd.
In a report to Congress and an accompanying "playbook" for state and local governments, federal health officials and the Department of Defense outlined complex plans for a vaccination campaign that will begin gradually in January or possibly later this year, eventually reaching every American who does this want a shot.
Vaccines are available to everyone, regardless of whether they have health insurance or not.
Whenever there is a vaccine to fight the virus that has infected more than 6.6 million Americans and killed nearly 196,000 people in the U.S., the Pentagon plans to be involved in vaccine distribution, but civilian health workers will be the ones who shot the guns submit.
The campaign is "much larger in scope and complexity than seasonal influenza or other previous vaccine reactions associated with outbreaks," states the CDC's playbook for states.
To the highlights in the "Spielbuch":
- For most vaccines, people need two doses 21 to 28 days apart. Double dose vaccines must come from the same drug manufacturer. Several vaccines from different manufacturers may be approved and available.
- Vaccinating the US population is not a sprint, but a marathon. There may be a limited supply of vaccines available initially and the focus will be on protecting health workers, other key employees and people in vulnerable groups. The National Academy of Medicine is working on priorities for the first phase. A second and third phase would expand vaccination across the country.
- The vaccine itself is free, and patients are not charged out of pocket for managing shots thanks to billions of dollars in tax dollars approved by Congress and allocated by the Trump administration.
- States and local communities must develop precise plans for the receipt and local distribution of vaccines, some of which may require special treatment such as refrigeration or freezing. States and cities have one month to submit plans.
Some of the broader parts of the federal plan have already been discussed, but Wednesday's reports attempt to put the key details into one comprehensive framework.
However, some experts are concerned that these plans will be drawn up and presented ahead of time.
"Doesn't that put the cart in front of the horse?" Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, said in an interview with DailyMail.com.
“We don't really understand the full extent of the effectiveness or safety of these vaccines, and each vaccine can be different.
Some can prevent infection, others (others that) can make the disease less severe. It is therefore very complicated to understand the various differences in effectiveness and safety and to come up with a complete plan. & # 39;
Dr. Hotez also questioned the impetus for the report, wondering if Congress had asked to see such a plan on Wednesday, or if it was something that "promotes the White House."
Either way, "this is unprecedented," he said.
Senator Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat, accused the CDC of being politically motivated.
"It never escapes the perspective that you are deliberately laying down (plans for states to start administering vaccines) two days before the election," Merkley said, asking Dr. Redfield, who asked him to do so at the White House.
When Redfield replied that "nobody" did this, Merkley hit back that he "influenced the election" and asked "what happens to scientific decisions", saying that the unlikely vaccination schedule "undermines the CDC's credibility".
Distribution is under the umbrella of Operation Warp Speed, a White House-backed initiative that aims to make millions of doses ready for shipment once a vaccine has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency clearance. Several formulations are currently under final testing.
However, the entire company is faced with public skepticism. Only about half of Americans said they would be vaccinated in an Associated Press poll in May.
The vast majority of those who did not get vaccinated said they were concerned about safety.
To effectively protect the nation from the coronavirus, experts say more than 70 percent of Americans must either be vaccinated or have their own immunity to fighting COVID-19.
The only questions that have arisen since the poll are whether the government is trying to speed up COVID-19 treatments and vaccines to improve President Donald Trump's re-election chances.
Ahead of the Republican National Convention in August, the FDA granted approval to treat COVID-19 patients with plasma from people who have recovered, although some government scientists were not convinced that the clinical evidence was strong enough.
And last week it was reported that Michael Caputo, a policy officer for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with no medical or scientific qualifications or experience, attempted editorial control of a weekly scientific publication by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)).
He stepped aside to address his own health problems after a Facebook live rant labeled the CDC a "Deep State," claiming its scientists wanted Americans to die so Biden could win.
He admitted he had mental health issues with the video, but it still took him Sunday through Wednesday to be removed from his role – and possibly come back to it in November.
Caputo is a Trump ultra-loyalist and a contributor to Roger Stone.
The US is reporting an increase in average daily COVID-19 cases and deaths like North Dakota, Wisconsin and South Carolina for the first time since July
The United States is seeing a slight increase in the average number of daily coronavirus cases and deaths – as about 20 states reported increases in new infections over the past week.
The average number of infections per day was more than 37,000 as of Tuesday after rising steadily since the weekend.
Domestic cases have been falling on average since July, when around 70,000 infections were reported daily.
Daily deaths are now a little over 840 per day, after the average death toll dropped to 720 a week ago.
Deaths in the US have steadily declined since mid-August, when an average of 1,000 Americans died every day.
Twenty states have reported spikes in cases over the past week as North Dakota, Wisconsin, and South Carolina have all seen daily highs in new infections in the past few days
Cases in Utah have increased over the past week, with more than 560 cases reported Tuesday. Nebraskas have been increasing since early September, and the state now has more than 38,000 cases
More than 195,000 Americans have now died from COVID-19 and there have been over 6.6 million infections.
The surge in cases comes after health officials warned there could be a surge after Labor Day weekend.
It comes as 20 states reported spikes in cases over the past week, with North Dakota, Wisconsin, and South Carolina all seeing daily highs in new infections.
The South Carolina infection peaked at 2,454 on September 11, with the state now registering more than 133.00 cases.
The North Dakota cases hit a record 467 on Sept. 12 and now number more than 16,000.
The falls in Wisconsin rose to a daily high of 1,624 on September 13. Infections in the state rose 38 percent in the last week and stood at more than 96,900.
Twelve of the 20 countries that saw increases in the past week have high case numbers relative to their population.
These include North Dakota, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Nebraska, Kentucky, Utah, and Louisiana.
An indoor event in Henderson, Nevada drew thousands on Sunday.
Louisiana saw a slight increase last week after a sharp drop in August (left). Texas is also among the states to see an increase after seeing an increase of 5,300 new cases on Tuesday. The cases in the former hotspot state had been on a downward trend since mid-August after a summer increase (right).
Missouri has seen cases rise last week, with the state recording a total of 105,000 cases. The cases in Oklahoma have been slowly increasing since late August. Just over 1,000 cases were reported on Tuesday
Trump also drew hundreds of followers on Monday to an indoor event in Phoenix, Arizona, promoting his campaign as the "Latinos for Trump Roundtable".
Trump has asserted that if protesters can gather en masse to protest against racial injustices, so can his supporters. His campaign has insisted that proper health precautions be taken, including handing out masks and hand sanitizer, and checking the temperatures of those in attendance.
After it emerged last week that Trump had called the virus "deadly stuff" in a private conversation with Bernstein's former reporting partner, Bob Woodward.
At the same time, Trump publicly downplayed the threat posed by COVID-19.
Three days after giving his "fatal" assessment in private with Woodward, he told a rally in New Hampshire on February 10 that "it will be fine".
Trump's recognition in Woodward's new book "Rage" for minimizing the severity of the virus in public so as not to cause panic has sparked waves of criticism he did not align with the American people.
The president told Woodward on March 19 that he had deliberately minimized the risk. "I always wanted to downplay it," said the president. "I still like to downplay it because I don't want to panic."
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