Donald Trump was left red-faced after he claimed that the director of the CDC, Robert Redfield was misquoted by the Washington Post only for Redfield to say that he wasn't.
At Wednesday's coronavirus taskforce press conference, the president bemoaned an interview that Redfield had done with the Post where he claimed that a second wave of Covid-19 could break out in the winter.
Redfield is quoted as saying:
There’s a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through.
And when I’ve said this to others, they kind of put their head back, they don’t understand what I mean.
We’re going to have the flu epidemic and the coronavirus epidemic at the same time.
Trump brought Redfield out to speak to the media, with the president claiming that the boss of the CDC was totally misquoted. He said:
He was totally misquoted. He said they could come together, they didn't talk about that and his whole purpose in making the statement was to get a flu shot so that next fall, we don't have such a big season of flu and we possibly won't.
Redfield then went on to clarify what he didn't and didn't say:
I think it's really important to emphasize what I didn't say. I didn't say this was going to be worse, I said it was going to be more difficult and potentially complicated because we'll have flu and coronavirus circulating at the same time.
However, Jonathan Karl of ABC interjected to ask if Redfield had been correctly quoted by the Post, to which he confirmed he was but said that the headline was 'inappropriate.'
I'm accurately quoted in The Washington Post as difficult, but the headline was inappropriate.
Redfield then read the headline outloud, which was:
The headline says 'CDC director warned second wave of coronavirus is likely to be even more devastating'.
Trump then claimed that wasn't what Redfield had said at all and then took over the podium to say that "Covid-19 might not come back in the winter at all".
It might not come back at all. He's talking about a worst-case scenario where you have a big flu and you have some Corona.
It's not going to be like it was. We have much better containment now, before nobody knew about it. Now if we have a little pocket here, we're going to have it put out, we're going to put it out fast. It's also possible it doesn't come back at all.
Things only managed to get more embarrassing for Trump during this press conference as Dr Anthony Fauci chimed in and said that Redfield's statement was most likely correct.
What Dr. Redfield was saying, first of all, is that we will have coronavirus in the fall. I am convinced of that.
What happens with that will depend on how we are able to contain it when it occurs.
What we are saying is that in the fall, we will be much, much better prepared to do the kind of containment compared to what happened to us this winter.
Trump didn't have anything further to say on this but did tweet that Redfield was misquoted by "the fake news CNN."
However, Redfield has shared the Post article complete with the contested headline.
.@CDCgov will soon issue guidance for state and local governments on how they can ease #COVID19 mitigation efforts… https://t.co/VRFM42K8hG