Experts baffled as Trump asks why they can't just use flu vaccines to prevent coronavirus

Sirena Bergman@SirenaBergman
Tuesday 03 March 2020 10:45
news

Donald Trump appears to be even more confused than ever bout coronavirus.

In a series of videos actually released by the White House, Trump can be seen getting increasingly more confused by the experts in the room, who are patiently trying to explain very very basic concepts to the president.

During one segment, he seems incapable of understanding how long it actually takes to formulate a vaccine, repeatedly suggesting "a couple months" should be the timeframe, because he "likes that better" than the actual realistic year-and-a-half estimate he's given.

He keeps going on and on about this among awkward laughter from people who understand that science doesn't actually bow to Trump's whims. It only stops when an advisor explains:

Vaccines have to be tested because there's precedent for vaccines actually making diseases worse.

You don't want to rush and treat a million people and find out you're making 900,000 of them worse.

Trump's response? A baffling "that's a good idea". (Good idea to rush and screw it up? Good idea to mention this? WHAT??)

But perhaps the weirdest of all was when he thought that he – a mediocre business person – may have come up with the solution to a complex global pandemic which no medical professional could ever have thought of:

You take a solid flu vaccine, you don't think that would have an impact? Or much of an impact? On corona?

Let's recap. A "solid" (whatever that means) flu vaccine. For the flu.

To stop "corona", as he calls it. Which is... a completely different type of virus. Otherwise it would be called flu. That's how words (and science) work.

So what impact would a flu shot have? "Probably none," Trump is told. For obvious reasons. The president responds:

Probably none? That simple?

Well no, not simple at all really, despite him seeming to think that coronavirus can be cured either by a vaccine for a different virus or by way of actual miracles. For context, researchers have been trying to develop a vaccine against HIV since the 1980s. Does that sound simple to you? Us neither. Maybe they should just use the flu one instead and see if that works.

Kellyanne Conway, who was in the room while all this was going down, said nothing, but her husband made the obvious point:

Don't we all George, don't we all.

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