President Donald Trump on Friday predicted the coronavirus would ‘go away without a vaccine’ and vowed that America is going to ‘transition to greatness.’
The president focused on the economy, reopening the country and the future in a meeting at the White House with Republican lawmakers.
His confident words came as the United States recorded its highest rate of unemployment since the Great Depression, a second administration staffer tested positive and the number of coronavirus deaths in the United States is more than 76,000.
‘This is going to go away without a vaccine. It’s going to go away and we’re not going to see it again,’ Trump said as he admitted, ‘you may have some flare ups.’
President Donald Trump predicted the coronavirus would ‘go away without a vaccine’ and vowed that America is going to ‘transition to greatness’
Participants at the meeting were given a coronavirus test before it started and spaced out in the State Dining Room at the White House
President Trump claimed there have been other disease that came and went without a vaccine but they would just die off.
‘There are some viruses and flus that came, when they went for a vaccine, they never found the vaccine and [the viruses] disappeared. It never showed up again. They die too like everything else. They die too,’ Trump said.
The president was asked by reporters at the event what he meant by that, if he was saying a vaccine wasn’t needed.
‘I just rely on what doctors say,’ Trump said. ‘They say it’s going to go. That doesn’t mean this year, doesn’t mean it’s going to be gone. Frankly by the fall or after the fall, but eventually it’s going to go away. The question is will we need a vaccine. At some point it will probably go away by itself. If we had a vaccine that would be very helpful.’
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who sits on the White House’s coronavirus task force, was asked on Fox News last week about Joe Biden’s comment that: ‘This isn’t going to be over until we have a vaccine.’
Fauci responded: ‘There’s truth to that. It’s not going to be over to the point of our being able to not do any mitigation until we have a scientifically sound, safe and effective vaccine.’
The president has repeatedly sounded an upbeat note about the virus, which has infected more than 1.3 million Americans.
He said Friday that many people can get it without having bad cases or symptoms.
‘The fact that you have it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t go away. You can have it and get through it very easily,’ Trump said. ‘Some people have a harder attack, most people get through it. Some people are devastated by I it. And I’ve had numerous people say they have it and there’s almost no symptoms. Other people have it and bad things happen. But for the most part when you have it, you get better. Supposedly you are immune although they’re not 100 percent sure how long that immunity lasts.’
The president has turned his focus to reopening the American economy. New unemployment numbers out on Friday found the US economy losing a staggering 20.5 million jobs in April – the steepest plunge since the 1930s Great Depression – putting the unemployment rate at 14.7 per cent.
‘We’re going to transition to greatness and we’re starting right now,’ Trump declared at his event.
The president had said earlier Friday the numbers were ‘expected.’
‘It’s fully expected, there’s no surprise,’ Trump told Fox & Friends just moments after the report was released.
‘Somebody said: ‘Oh, look at this’. Even the Democrats aren’t blaming me for that. What I can do is I can bring it back. Those jobs will all be back, and they’ll be back very soon. And next year we’ll have a phenomenal year.’
President Trump has kept an upbeat tone when talking about combating the coronavirus
The largest monthly job loss prior to April was about 2 million in September 1945 after WWII. In March 2009, at the height of the Great Recession, 800,000 jobs were lost
President Trump, Vice President Pence and most White House staff are tested daily for the coronavirus
Trump’s optimism came as a second White House staffer tested positive for the coronavirus this week.
Vice President Mike Pence’s spokesperson Katie Miller, who also serves as a spokesperson for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, tested positive, a day after one of Trump’s valets was reported to have it.
Miller is married to Stephen Miller, an adviser to President Trump who works in the West Wing near the Oval Office.
Pence was tested Friday and was negative. Trump, the vice president and most White House staff – which would include Miller’s husband Stephen – are now tested on a daily basis, a change in policy made this week.
Trump said he wasn’t worried about the risk of infection despite the virus moving closer to the Oval Office.
‘I’m not worried,’ he said. ‘We’re taking very strong precautions of the White House.’
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows called the White House the ‘safest place that you can come to.’
He said additional safety protocols have been put place over the last 48 hours but declined to detail them.
‘I don’t want to get into all the procedures that we’ve embarked on but I can tell you that this – it’s probably the safest place that you can come to,’ he said.
Staff are checked daily, give symptom histories and all work spaces get regular, deep cleanings, according to deputy White House press secretary Judd Deere.
Trump’s optimism came as second administration staffer – Pence spokesperson Katie Miller (above in green jacket) – tested positive for coronavirus
At the meeting with Republican lawmakers, President Trump also defend his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who has come under fire for his work on combating the coronavirus
At his hour long briefing with Republican lawmakers, where a majority of the time was spent with the member praising Trump’s work for the country, Trump also defend his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
Kushner, who serves as a senior White House adviser, was at the meeting. He’s come under fire for running a shadow task force to combat the coronavirus, which works with private companies and some have accused him of a lack of transparency and causing confusion about who should speak to whom about what.
But Kushner, who is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka, bragged about the work his team and the White House has done on getting ventilators made and into position.
‘Last year America made about 30,000 ventilators. This year we’ll make about 150,000 in a four month period. And so we’re in a place right now where we’re doing well. A lot of our allies – the countries that are friendly with America – are starting to get ventilators from us, and we have more than enough to take care of all the American citizens. So it’s been a great success story on testing,’ he said.
Trump praised him and said he wouldn’t have kept him in the administration -even though he’s a relative – if he was doing a bad job.
‘Thank you, Jared you’ve done a great job,’ Trump told him. ‘Someday people are going to appreciate it. They say ‘Oh, he’s a relation.’ Well, if it wasn’t a good relation I’d get him out of here so fast.’