WASHINGTON (AP) — Openly contradicting the government’s top health experts, President Donald Trump predicted on Wednesday that a safe and effective vaccine against the coronavirus could be ready as early as next month and in mass distribution soon after, undermining the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and calling him “confused” in projecting a longer time frame.
Trump also disagreed with Dr. Robert Redfield about the effectiveness of protective masks — which the president recommends but almost never wears — and said he’d telephoned Redfield to tell him so.
Earlier in the day, the CDC sent all 50 states a “playbook” for distribution of a vaccine to all Americans free of cost when one is proven safe and effective — which is not yet the case. Redfield told a congressional hearing that health care workers, first responders and others at high risk would get the vaccine first,
An incident in Eitzen, Minn., that contributed to the CDC’s withdrawal of federal public health surveyors from Minnesota didn’t involve racial slurs or a weapon, according to the mayor of the Iowa border town.
Mayor Jeffrey Adamson confirmed in a written statement that the incident occurred on Sept. 15 but disagreed with the depiction that surveyors had been boxed in by two cars and accosted by three men, including one with a holstered gun. He said a large radio may have been mistaken for a weapon.
“We would like to make it clear there was never a gun or any weapon present,” he said in the statement, “and no threats or aggressive behavior occurred during the interaction between the city members and the covid-19 team.”