President Trump on Tuesday stood by his belief that the novel coronavirus would “disappear” on its own because people in the United States would develop what he called “herd mentality.”
At the ABC News town hall in Pennsylvania, host George Stephanopoulos asked Trump about the virus and he said, “With time it goes away. You’ll develop, you’ll develop herd — like a herd mentality. It’s going to be, it’s going to be herd-developed, and that’s going to happen. That will all happen. But with a vaccine, I think it will go away very quickly.”
Trump must have been referring to “herd immunity,” which happens when enough individuals develop immunity to prevent the spread of a disease.
Trump further claimed that the U.S. is “rounding the corner” with respect to the coronavirus.
U.S. Top health officials, meanwhile, advised citizens to “hunker down” for the fall and winter. They fear that a second wave of coronavirus transmissions will coincide with the flu season.
President Trump said, “A lot of people do agree with me. You look at Scott Atlas. You look at some of the other doctors that are highly — from Stanford. Look at some of the other doctors. They think maybe we could have done that from the beginning.”
The Washington Post reported last month that Atlas, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, was pushing the White House to adopt a “herd immunity” strategy.
The White House, on the other hand, said the Trump administration has ever considered such a policy to address the coronavirus pandemic.
In Pennsylvania, Trump was consistent in defending his response to the coronavirus. The president also denied downplaying the virus publicly, despite a recording of March interview with journalist Bob Woodward during which he acknowledged “playing it down” in order to avoid “panic.”
Trump explained that he was not looking to be dishonest with the public and noted that he regretted nothing about his response, maintaining that his administration had done a “great job.”
Trump also often mentioned that a vaccine could be ready within “three weeks, four weeks.”