President Donald Trump disputed testimony from CDC Director Robert Redfield to Congress on Wednesday, saying that he was mistaken about the effectiveness of masks and the timing of the coronavirus vaccine.
Redfield testified that wearing a mask was probably more effective at preventing coronavirus than even a vaccine.
“I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine,” Redfield said during testimony to the Senate on Wednesday.
Trump dismissed the idea.
“Number one, it’s not more effective than a vaccine,” he said, noting that he called Redfield to discuss his testimony on Capitol Hill.
“I believe if you asked him, he would probably say he didn’t understand the question,” Trump continued.
The second dispute Trump had was Redfield’s testimony was that the vaccine would not be widely available to the general public until the Spring or Summer of 2021.
“If you’re asking me when is it going to be generally available to the American public, so we can begin to take advantage of vaccine to get back to our regular life, I think we’re probably looking at third, late second quarter, third quarter 2021,” Redfield said during his testimony.
Trump indicated that Redfield was confused.
“Maybe he misunderstood both questions,” Trump said. “It will be a much faster distribution than he said.”
Trump said that a vaccine could be developed as soon as October and that distribution would start immediately.
“I will tell you that the distribution is going to be very rapid and all-encompassing. We are going to have a focus on certain groups that have problems, senior citizens, etc. but it’s a very powerful distribution.”
Trump accused Democrats and the media of campaigning against the vaccine.
“It will be a tremendous success,” he said. “We are fighting a very powerful party with a poor candidate in my opinion. Fighting a very powerful party and their partners with the media.”