Last Wednesday, Trump publicly rebuked CDC Director Robert Redfield after Redfield told congressional lawmakers that while a vaccine could become available by November or December, it would likely not be “generally available to the American public” until the late second quarter or early third quarter of next year.
The president responded by staging a White House news briefing hours later, during which he claimed Redfield “made a mistake” and “got the message maybe confused” at the time of his remarks.
“We’re ready to go immediately as the vaccine is announced, and it could be announced in October,” Trump told reporters.
But Trump himself then said at another news briefing last Friday that the vaccine would not be widely available to the whole American public until April.
On Monday, Trump also offered more rosy appraisals of the pandemic, insisting the U.S. was “rounding the corner, with or without a vaccine.”
“They hate it when I say that, but that’s the way it is,” he said. “We’re rounding the corner on the pandemic. And we’ve done a phenomenal job. Not just a good job.”
The president went on to grade himself on his management of the historic health crisis, which has resulted in nearly 200,000 American deaths.
“On public relations, I give myself a D. On the job itself, we take an A-plus,” he said.