Trump’s coronavirus briefings are known for being explosive and dystopian, but a moment from his latest presser might be his most ridiculous yet.
The president has praised a non-existent Aids vaccine during... a police reform briefing. Very normal.
Before the end of the year I predict we will have a very successful vaccine, therapeutic (treatment) and cure (for Covid-19). We’re making tremendous progress. I deal with these incredible scientists, doctors very closely.
I have great respect for their minds. They have come up with things. They’ve come up with many other cures and therapeutics over the years…
They’ve come up with the Aids vaccine…
In an uncharacteristic move, Trump then realised he’d made a mistake, because there is no vaccine for HIV or Aids. He said:
Or the Aids, and the as you know theres various things, and now various companies are involved and the therapeutic for Aids.
To be clear, there’s no vaccine for Aids and there has never been a vaccine for Aids. If there had been one, millions of people would still be alive today.
But there are various treatments for HIV, the virus which leads to Aids. HIV can treated with daily medication such as PrEP that keeps HIV positive people healthy and stops them from passing on the virus to others. If properly treated, HIV positive people reach normal life expectancies and live healthy lives.
On social media, people were very insulted by the gaffe.
Not least because several US presidents were accused of severely mishandling the US Aids crisis. Gay and bisexual men in particular were adversely affected and the government response is generally regarded as an extremely dark chapter in US history.
Trump’s repeated attempts to repeal Obama’s Affordable Care Act were also accused of putting access to HIV treatments such as PrEP at risk. His right hand man Mike Pence has also been accused of causing an HIV epidemic in Indiana so it’s a bit rich for him to be bragging about Aids vaccines now.
On Twitter, Aids activists, LGBTQ+ people, healthcare professionals, journalists and politicians were united in their horror and anger at the insensitive gaffe.