President Trump addressed concerns that the coronavirus could return in full force in the fall at today's White House coronavirus task force briefing.
DR. BIRX: what we're also hoping, and we talked about this about four or five weeks ago, that we were hoping that the flu infections also go down because people are much more aware of respiratory illnesses and how to protect themselves. We want you to get your vaccine, but we also want to also protect individuals from getting the flu because of the vulnerability we know and certain populations to flu and that devastating outcomes to flu.
We could prevent and decrease both of those things. So I think we are assured that the CDC is putting in place today what we are going to need in the fall so that we can stay in containment if potentially that virus comes back.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: And if it comes back though, it won't be coming back in the form that it was. It will be coming back in smaller doses that we can contain. But what the doctor was saying, and I spoke to him at great length, he was saying if it should come back, together, now you have the flu and you have the embers of corona, but in my opinion from everything I've seen, it can never be like anything that we've witnessed right now. Would you say that that's a correct statement?
TRUMP: It's nothing like what we're talking--we've just gone through, we will not go through. You can have some embers of corona and you could have a big flu system, and if they combine, if they come together, if they come together, it's not great, but we will not go through when we went through for the last two months. Yet, Jeff?
QUESTION: Mr. President--
TRUMP: --Is that a correct statement?
UNKNOWN: That's correct.
QUESTION: I understand that the United States will certainly be more prepared in the fall, but how can you say that you know it won't come back in the same level that it has today?
TRUMP: What--it is estimated, it might not come back at all, Jeff. It may not come back at all. He's talking about a worst-case scenario where you have a big flu and you have some corona. And if it does come back, it's not going to come back, and I've spoken to 10 different people, not going to be like it was.
Also, we have much better containment now. Before, nobody knew anything about it. Nobody knew anything about it. We understand it. Now, if we have pockets, a little pocket here or there, we're going to have it put out. It goes out and it's going to go out fast. We're going to be watching for it. But it's all possible. It's also possible it doesn't come back at all.
QUESTION: I understand the containment, but I don't understand how you know it won't come back on a big scale.
TRUMP: I didn't say it's not. I said if it does, it's not going to come back on anything near what we went through. But you could have a mess where they come at the same time. And if they come at the same time, the flu is not the greatest thing in the world, Jeff, it's not the greatest thing either. If they come at the same time, you have them both. But if we have embers of corona, coupled with the flu, that's not going to be pleasant. But it's not going to be what we've gone through in any way, shape, or form. Yeah?
QUESTION: If you don't think that is going to come back at the same severity that it is right now, why are you still directing the taxpayer dollars be spent on a major emergency procurement of ventilators? Tens of thousands of--
TRUMP: --Because we have to have them for other reasons. Something else could come. I mean, we didn't know about corona. Now you know about corona, but look at what happened. And now, we did have the H1N1 swine flu. We had that. We have other things that have happened. We had various forms of flu, but nothing like what we had here. I think it all like what we've had here with the virus.