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Analysis: Trump's not bothering to hide his political interference in vaccine push

September 17, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 16: U.S. President Donald J. Trump speaks to the press during a news conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on September 16, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump continues to trail challenger Joe Biden in the polls with the election less than two months away. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump's political interference in the scientific and ethical process underwriting the quest for a Covid-19 vaccine -- on stunning display on a chaotic Wednesday -- is deepening the damage of his disastrous pandemic response.

(CNN)President Donald Trump's political interference in the scientific and ethical process underwriting the quest for a Covid-19 vaccine -- on stunning display on a chaotic Wednesday -- is deepening the damage of his disastrous pandemic response.

"I think he got the message maybe confused," the President said of the vaccine comments and added that Redfield "didn't understand the question" on masks -- even though the doctor's answers had been clearly considered and carefully worded.

After a telephone call from the President and Trump's public rebuke, a CDC official told CNN that Redfield now realized that he misunderstood the questions about the vaccines.

Redfield angered Trump during congressional testimony in which he was optimistic that a vaccine would soon be approved and manufactured.

We will be all set," he said, promising Americans a vaccine in "at most a couple of months. "

Redfield said at the Wednesday hearing, "I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against Covid than when I take a Covid vaccine, because the immunogenicity may be 70%.

Trump later replied: "As far as the masks are concerned, I hope that the vaccine is going to be a lot more beneficial than the masks. "

While he said that Redfield may have "misunderstood" the question, the President's comments suggest he was not clear on the science or on the effectiveness of vaccines and how masks work.

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