Donald Trump reaffirmed his opinion that the novel coronavirus will fade away on its own with or without a vaccine because of “herd mentality.”
As a video from ABC posted to Twitter shows, the president appeared to be referring to the controversial strategy of dealing with the pandemic through herd immunity.
Trump was speaking with George Stephanopoulos at an ABC town hall Tuesday when he addressed his past comments about COVID-19.
“It would go away without the vaccine,” Trump said.
He went on to say that with an inoculation, the disease would go away more quickly, but it would fade away on its own regardless.
“Over a period of time, sure, with time, it goes away and you’ll develop, you’ll develop like a herd mentality — it’s going to be herd-developed, and that’s going to happen. That will all happen,” he said.
Herd immunity happens when enough people in a population become immune to a disease, whether that is through inoculation or exposure to the virus naturally.
In theory, a community could develop herd immunity by allowing younger and healthier people to be exposed and infected with the disease while protecting those who are more at risk, such as the elderly or immunocompromised.
Many health experts have cautioned against such a strategy, which they say could result in a high number of deaths.
He also told Stephanopoulos he believed the country was nearing the end of its experience with the virus.
“I really believe we’re rounding the corner,” Trump said.
Some health experts have pushed back on the idea that the U.S. is heading into the final stages of the pandemic, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading immunologist.
He re-asserted his administration handled the situation appropriately and added a vaccine could be ready within weeks. Fauci has suggested the end of the year is a more realistic timeline.
Trump also pushed back on the idea that he made a decision to downplay the virus early on, saying he didn’t want to mislead the public, but he also wanted to ensure people wouldn’t panic.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Trump participated in a series of recorded interviews with legendary reporter Bob Woodward during which he admitted he knew how deadly COVID-19 could be as early as January. He said that instead of telling the public about the situation, he chose to downplay its seriousness in order to not panic the public.