“I think we’re going to be very good with the coronavirus. I think at some point that’s going to sort of just disappear, I hope,” he said during an interview on Fox Business on Wednesday.
When asked if he still believed that, Trump replied: “I do. Sure. At some point, and I think we’re going to have a vaccine very soon too.”
The U.S. is currently the epicentre of the virus, with more than 2.6 million confirmed cases and 127,681 deaths, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.
His comments are at odds with countries that have significantly reduced their daily COVID-19 curve, like Canada, which is bracing for a second and even third potential wave of the virus that could span into the winter months.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government was reviewing its financial aid in preparation for a second wave, adding that they were planning for “worst possible scenarios,” while hoping for the best.
In April, he said Canada would have to remain vigilant for “at least a year.”
Trump’s words are also in stark contrast with the advice of top U.S. health official Dr. Anthony Fauci, who said last week he was optimistic about a viable vaccine becoming available — but in 2021 at the earliest, urging Americans to continue social distancing.
On Monday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced the U.S. had bought out almost 100 per cent of the world’s supply of remdesivir, the world’s first licensed drug proven to be effective against the virus.
While there currently is no vaccine available to treat COVID-19, the newly acquired supply would secure at least 500,000 treatment courses for U.S. hospitals through September.
Fauci said Tuesday the country was “going in the wrong direction” when it comes to COVID-19, adding that at this rate, he “would not be surprised” if newly identified infections increased to 100,000 per day.
“Clearly, we are not in total control right now,” Fauci said, referring to the country’s rising case numbers, which have seen jumps 40,000 per day within the last week.
Southern and Western states appear to have been hit hardest by the recent COVID-19 surges, with some pushing back their reopening dates.
On Monday, California reported just over 6,300 new cases in the span of 24 hours. Wednesday, the Florida Health Department recorded more than 6,500 new cases. That same day, Arizona cases also rose to nearly 4,900.
Fauci said that they couldn’t just “focus on counties” that are doing are doing well, as even having one with increasing cases “puts the entire country at risk.”
“When you have an outbreak in one part of the country, even though in other parts of the country they’re doing well, they are vulnerable,” he said.