From his initial assertions that it would disappear "like a miracle" to his claim that it's only a tad worse than the common cold, President Donald Trump's response to the virus that's killed nearly 200 thousand Americans is characterized by his eagerness to paint a rosier picture in the face of a grimmer reality.
Such seems to be the case with Trump's assertions regarding a vaccine for the virus—a milestone that would all but guarantee the return to a sense of long-missed normality after a year defined by a pandemic.
Even as recently as two days ago, Trump claimed that a vaccine would be readily available by October or November—around the time of the election that will decide whether or not he's a one-term President.
After Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Dr. Robert Redfield testified before a Senate committee that a vaccine likely wouldn't be available to every American until mid-2021, Trump called Redfield "confused" and said that the expert's testimony was "incorrect information."
Now, in a Friday press briefing, the President said a vaccine would be available to every American by April of 2021.
"Hundreds of millions of doses will be available every month and we expect to have enough vaccines available for every American by April. And again I'll say that even at that later stage a delivery will go as fast as it comes they can deliver."
When asked by Fox News' John Roberts whether or not a vaccine would be widely available in the U.S. by next Summer, Trump responded:
"Yeah, that's on the outer edge. We think we can beat that number very substantially."
This news isn't entirely unexpected. Despite Trump's claims that there would be a vaccine by the end of the year, experts in addition to Redfield—such as prominent White House virus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci—said a vaccine likely wouldn't be issued until later.
People noticed Trump's about-face.
Though Trump appears to have moved back the date he earlier claimed, it's still sooner than Redfield's prediction of a widely available vaccine by the third quarter, leading some to remain skeptical about Trump's vaccine estimate.