President Donald Trump says he still believes that COVID-19 will disappear — even without a vaccine.
Trump was confronted by ABC’s George Stephanopolous over his previous assertion that COVID-19 would “disappear” over time.
“It is going to disappear. It’s going to disappear,” Trump said during a town hall on Tuesday night.
Stephanopoulos interjected, “Not if we don’t take action, correct?”
“No, I still say it. It’s going to disappear, George,” Trump said. “We’re going to get back, we’re not going to have studios like this where we have all this empty space.”
He continued, “I want to see people. You want to see people. I want to see football games. I’m pushing very hard for Big Ten. I want to see Big Ten open. Let the football games … let them play sports. But no, it’s going to disappear.”
Trump asserted that he wanted to prevent Americans from panicking about the virus but maintained that the virus would disappear.
He said, “I’m not looking to be dishonest, I don’t want people to panic, and we are going to be okay. We’re going to be okay. And it is going away. And it’s probably going to go away now a lot faster because of the vaccine. It would go away without the vaccine.”
Stephanopoulos interrupted to ask, “It would go away without the vaccine?”
“Sure … over a period of time,” Trump responded. “You’ll develop like a herd mentality. It’s going to be herd-developed, and that’s going to happen. That will all happen. But with a vaccine, I think it will go away very quickly.”
“But I really believe we’re rounding the corner — and I believe that strongly,” he added.
Watch the video below:
.@GStephanopoulos presses Pres. Trump on his claims that COVID-19 will "disappear."— ABC News (@ABC) September 16, 2020
Stephanopoulos: "It would go away without the vaccine?"
Pres. Trump: "Sure, over a period of time. Sure, with time."
Stephanopoulos: "And many deaths." https://t.co/5rferlTBvn pic.twitter.com/zFwBIRA8GV
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, however, said he disagrees with Trump’s assessment that the country is “rounding the corner.
“I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with that,” Fauci said during an interview on MSNBC. He added that he views the current levels of new daily coronavirus cases “disturbing” as the country prepares to head into its cold and flu season.
“We are plateauing around 40,000 cases a day, and the deaths are around 1,000,” he said, adding, “What we don’t want to see is going into the fall season, when people will be spending more time indoors — and that’s not good for a respiratory-borne virus — you don’t want to start off already with a baseline that’s so high.”
His comments come there are more than 6.7 million confirmed cases of the virus in the country, and as the death toll has surpassed 200,000.