US President Donald Trump again contradicted his own health officials' coronavirus statements -- this time on the importance of mask wearing and the timing for a vaccine.
And he demeaned Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, saying the doctor was "confused" in his congressional testimony.Redfield said Wednesday that masks may be a more effective protection against coronavirus than any potential vaccine that the President can't stop hyping. And he laid out a timeline for when the general US public could expect to start seeing results from widespread coronavirus vaccination the second or third quarter of 2021. Those statements both seemed to contradict what Trump has been saying.
"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, because the immunogenicity may be 70%. And if I don't get an immune response, the vaccine is not going to protect me. This face mask will," Redfield told lawmakers during public testimony, adding that the American public has not yet embraced the use of masks to a level that could effectively control the outbreak.
Responding to Redfield's congressional testimony, Trump took his pushback against the doctor -- who he appointed to lead the CDC -- a step further, contradicting the agency head on two accounts: the timeline for a coronavirus vaccine and the effectiveness of masks compared with inoculation.
The President also said Redfield's comments to Congress about masks possibly being more effective than a vaccine were incorrect and that Redfield may have misunderstood the question.
Redfield said in a statement regarding his mask testimony that he believes in the "importance of vaccines and the importance in particular of a Covid-19 vaccine."