President Donald Trump took exception on Wednesday to the remarks made by the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who said that a vaccine for the novel coronavirus could be widely deployed in mid-2021 and that masks could be even more successful. Robert Redfield, in testimony to a congressional committee, said that “late second quarter, third quarter 2021 could result in general availability of a vaccine.”
Trump, at a news conference, said he hoped there would be a vaccine coming out even earlier. After his testimony he said he called Redfield to ask him about it, and the ask seemed to have puzzled Redfield. “I think he made a mistake in saying that,” Trump said of testimony from Redfield. “I guess he doesn’t mean it. I think he was surprised when he said it.’
Trump said he maintained faith in his success at the CDC, despite quibbling with Redfield. Redfield, who is a member of Trump’s task force on coronavirus, said that a vaccine could be ready as soon as this November or December, and that restricted first doses could go to the most vulnerable, but that it could take until mid-2021 for it to be widely available.