President Donald Trump said the U.S. will overcome the coronavirus crisis with or without an effective vaccine, saying that the disease will “go away at some point” either way.
“We think we’re going to have a vaccine in the pretty near future, and if we do we’re going to really be a big step ahead,” Trump told a reporter Friday at a White House event detailing U.S. efforts to develop a vaccine.
“And if we don’t, we’re going to be like so many other cases where you had a problem come in, it’ll go away at some point, it’ll go away,” Trump said. “It may flare up and it may not flare up, we’ll have to see what happens, but if it does flare up we’re going to put out the fire and we’ll put it out quickly and efficiently. We’ve learned a lot.”
The president had been asked about his comments earlier in the event, when he said, “Vaccine or no vaccine, we’re back. And we’re starting the process. In many cases, they don’t have vaccines and a virus or a flu comes and you fight through it.”
Trump’s remarks downplaying the need for a vaccine came during a Rose Garden announcement unveiling his administration’s beefed-up efforts to fast-track the development and distribution of a vaccine for Covid-19. The new project, dubbed “Operation Warp Speed,” aims to have hundreds of millions of doses of an effective vaccine available by the end of the year.