President Trump said on Tuesday that a coronavirus vaccine may be available within a month – an acceleration of even his own surprisingly optimistic predictions – but added that the pandemic could go away by itself.
“We’re very close to having a vaccine,” he told a town hall question-and-answer session with voters in Pennsylvania aired on ABC News.
“We’re within weeks of getting it you know – could be three weeks, four weeks,” he said.
Only hours earlier, speaking to Fox News on Tuesday morning, Mr Trump had said a vaccine could come in “four weeks, it could be eight weeks.”
Mr Trump also provoked mockery on Twitter when he spoke about “herd mentality” instead of “herd immunity,” a form of indirect protection from infectious disease that occurs when enough people have become immune through vaccination or previous infections.
Scientists have warned that pursuing a strategy of herd immunity could lead to a high number of deaths.