Trump: CDC Director 'Made a Mistake' on Vaccine Timing

Redfield said masks could be more effective protection than vaccine
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2020 6:00 PM CDT
CDC DIrector: Masks Could Be Better Protection Than Vaccine
CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield holds up a CDC document as he speaks at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on a "Review of Coronavirus Response Efforts" Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield testified at a Senate hearing Wednesday—and his remarks clashed with some of what President Trump has been saying. Face masks are "the most important public health tool we have" in fighting the pandemic and could even be more effective than a vaccine, Redfield said, per the New York Times. "I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine, because the immunogenicity may be 70%," he told lawmakers. "And if I don't get an immune response, the vaccine is not going to protect me. This face mask will." At a town hall event Tuesday, Trump said "a lot of people think masks are not good."

Trump also said Tuesday that a vaccine could be ready in "three weeks, four weeks." Redfield told the Senate on Wednesday that a "very limited supply" of vaccine could be available by the end of the year, but he doesn't expect one to be available to the general public until the middle of 2021. Trump told reporters at a news conference later Wednesday that Redfield had made a "mistake' on the vaccine timeline, the Hill reports. "I think he made a mistake when he said that. It’s just incorrect information,” Trump said. "That is incorrect information." Trump said Redfield, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, was "confused" and had "misunderstood the question." (More coronavirus stories.)

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