President Donald Trump said on Friday that he wants the U.S. to reopen regardless of whether there’s a vaccine for COVID-19 available because, in his mind, the pandemic will go away on its own.
“Vaccine or no vaccine, we’re back, and we’re starting the process,” Trump said during a press briefing on a project to rapidly develop a COVID-19 vaccine. “In many cases, they don’t have vaccines, and a virus or a flu comes and you fight through it.”
When asked to clarify his statement, Trump said he believes we’ll have a “a vaccine in the pretty near future” and once again put a rosy spin on the situation even if there isn’t one.
“And if we do, we’ll really be a big step ahead,” he told reporters. “And if we don’t, we are going to be like so many other cases where you had a problem come in, it will go away at some point. It will go away. It may flare up, and it may not flare up. We’ll have to see what happens.”
Trump made similarly dismissive comments about vaccines’ efficacy against COVID-19 last week.
“This is going to go away without a vaccine,” he said. “It’s going to go away, and we’re not going to see it again, hopefully, after a period of time.”
Health experts have repeatedly warned that life won’t fully go back to normal until there’s a vaccine, which could take more than a year or longer.
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