Donald Trump has repeated a claim that the coronavirus is going to “just disappear”, a day after the United States announced a record number of new cases.
“I think we’re gonna be very good with the coronavirus. I think that at some point that’s going to, sort of, just disappear — I hope,” Mr Trump told Fox Business on Wednesday.
The president’s comments come as more than 48,000 coronavirus cases were announced across the country on Tuesday, the highest daily number since the pandemic began.
On the same day, eight states reported single-day highs: Alaska, Arizona, California, Georgia, Idaho, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas.
It is not the first time Mr Trump has made the claim that the virus will vanish on its own, contradicting his own expert advisors. Speaking in February, when just over a dozen cases had been confirmed on US soil, Mr Trump said the virus was “going to disappear.”
“One day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear,” he said at a reception in the White House.
Then, and now, public health officials said the opposite. Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious diseases expert and a key member of the White House coronavirus task force, told Congress on Tuesday that the US could soon witness 100,000 new cases a day.
“I can’t make an accurate prediction but it’s going to be very disturbing,” Dr Fauci told senators in a hearing held by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. “We are now having 40-plus-thousand new cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around, and so I am very concerned.”
Mr Trump also praised the economy, despite the country entering a recession in February and with around 13 per cent of the country unemployed.
“Retail sales are at a record number, especially when you talk about increase. When you look at percentage increase nobody has ever seen anything like it,” Mr Trump said.