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.
Trump let slip, 'we expect to have enough vaccines available for every American by April' pic.twitter.com/dHvbEPCWfL
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) September 18, 2020
"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.
Trump saying vaccines will be ready for every American by April, which is amazing because this same bleeding hemorrhoid told us that the country would be opened up and just raring to go by Easter (April) just one year ago. Oh and by the way, it wasn't.
— JeremyNewberger (@jeremynewberger) September 18, 2020
Trump is lying about the vaccine again? Now he says April for everyone. Yesterday when Trump said end of Oct, he said it would be ready to go to everyone. He kept saying once the vaccine hits, they are ready to go for everyone.
Now Trump is contradicting himself.
— Carma (@Carma_2012) September 18, 2020
By April now....what the hell happened to election day? Did he not say that two weeks ago. Hey read my sign....every time Trump lies ....read my sign pic.twitter.com/zSUvFsbhvX
— Sunny Skyes (@SunnySkyes53) September 18, 2020
wait, I thought it was November
— DaveResists🌊🌊🌊 (@dvlnd3) September 18, 2020
I thought it was coming in a few weeks.
— Sandy (@kornheiserfan) September 18, 2020
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.
So we're supposed to believe the guy who told us COVID would be gone by April 2020, when he says we'll manufacture enough vaccine doses for every American by April 2021? pic.twitter.com/kTmXPnQPik
— Left Out Loud 🌊 (@LeftOutLoud) September 18, 2020
Trump's new prediction is a far cry from having any usable doses available for front line workers by November 3rd of this year. Now he says enough for all by April - that 2nd quarter next year. Still optimistic. Testing in 3rd stage is just starting. https://t.co/QNUX08cNwJ
— Jesse Elin B. (@effiedog) September 18, 2020
It'll be october. Its before YE. Its by April, maybe 3rd or 4th quarter. I feel so safe now. We need someone other than @realDonaldTrump or @GOP to deliver a true plan of action.
VOTE @JoeBiden & @KamalaHarrishttps://t.co/nzXCox7skq
— l Bark Loudly (@barkley_al) September 18, 2020
Right now we don't even have a safe vaccine. How is Trump guaranteeing enough for everyone by April?!
— Meg ✌🏻✌🏻 (@sassybibrarian) September 18, 2020