In perhaps a sign of things to come, President’s Trump’s first answer — which was meant to state how he would lead during the next stage of the coronavirus — relied instead on looking backward and wishful thinking about a vaccine.
“It will go away and as I say, we’re rounding the turn, we’re rounding the corner. It’s going away,” he said.
As he does nearly every time he is pressed on his pandemic response, Trump cited his decision to close travel to China, though thousands of people were exempt and were still able to enter the country. He insisted the United States was suffering alongside Europe, which is also experiencing new spikes. But unlike Trump, leaders there — including French President Emmanuel Macron — have imposed new lockdowns.
And he placed nearly all of his optimism on a vaccine, which he claimed would arrive “within weeks.” There is no indication that is true; vaccine trials are still underway and the Food and Drug Administration has imposed rules requiring months of data for emergency use of a new vaccine. Later, Trump acknowledged his promise of a vaccine “within weeks” was not a “guarantee.” But he said he was hopeful for one by the end of the year.
His answers were a sign that Trump doesn’t plan to change his approach to coronavirus, even as cases surge. He said as much earlier this week; in a town hall event, Trump responded when asked what he would do differently: “Not much.”
This is how the question played out: