Trump once said the coronavirus would magically disappear "like a miracle," but the rest his recent history.
Trump begrudgingly predicted we would eventually lose up to 60,000 Americans to the virus and possibly even 100,000 at some point, but he moved his own goal posts again this morning now we're poised to 'score' in the next week.
Appearing on Fox Business, Trump said we'll lose more than 100,000 to the virus.
The president said he expects a vaccine to be available by the end of this year, a very optimistic timeline given that many experts, including Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Anthony Fauci, say it will take at least 12 to 18 months. The virus has killed more than 84,000 Americans so far, as states begin to reopen their economies. The president indicated he expects that number to continue to climb.
"We will lose over 100,000, perhaps, in this country," the president said in the interview that aired Thursday.
With most of the country reopening to some extent, and with us reaching 100,000 deaths within the next 7 to 10 days, we're clearly going to see far more deaths than that over the next 12 months when a vaccine becomes widely available. It's not as if people will suddenly stop dying just because we crossed some new threshold or benchmark that we've invented. The rate of death will slow, but never stop.
Trump also tweeted this morning that a vaccine will be distributed before the end of this year which means that's almost certainly not going to happen.
Officials from the European Medicines Agency, the European Union's top medical regulator, say that while they're doing every they can to speed development of a vaccine, they expect it will take at least 12 months even under an "optimistic" scenario.
Meanwhile, Dr. Rick Bright, the ousted director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, also testified this morning that a vaccine will take at least 12 to 18 months to develop even under ideal conditions. But perhaps more alarmingly, Bright agreed with Congressional Democrats who hypothesize that Trump would mishandle development and distribution of a vaccine.
Bright also warned that, as of May 1st, the federal government had not placed any large orders for needles and syringes and that the number of them we'll need (in the billions) will take years to manufacture.