President Donald Trump said in an interview with Fox Business Wednesday that he hopes the coronavirus will "sort of just disappear" on its own, remarks that came on the same day new infections in the United States topped 50,000 for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
After touting May's record retail sales, Trump insisted that "we're headed back in a very strong fashion" even as Texas, California, and other states paused and reversed some of their reopening steps as new Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations surged.
"I think we're gonna be very good with the coronavirus," said the president. "I think that at some point that's going to sort of just disappear, I hope."
"Well, I do," Trump said. "I do. Yeah sure, at some point, and I think we're going to have a vaccine very soon, too."
Trump ludicrously claimed to Fox Business just now that "I think we're gonna be very good with the coronavirus. I think that at some point that's going to sort of just disappear, I hope." (The virus will not disappear on its own.) pic.twitter.com/ZkLtjKUEDu
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 1, 2020
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"These reckless statements are false—and coming from the president, they are dangerous," responded Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee.
The U.S. on Wednesday reported 52,982 new Covid-19 cases, the largest single-day total since the pandemic began, according to data compiled by the Covid Tracking Project. In total, more than 2.7 million people have been infected with coronavirus in the U.S. and at least 128,000 have died.
As the Washington Post reported, "California, Texas, Arizona, North Carolina, and Georgia all broke their previous single-day records for new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, while Louisiana's infection rates continued to rise." California and Texas have both taken steps to roll back their reopenings in recent days in an effort to mitigate new outbreaks.
States reported over 50k cases for the first time today, another new record. The national positivity rate is over 7% now, despite ever higher testing levels.
Hospitalizations are now at late-May levels. pic.twitter.com/erSW8W37jj
— The COVID Tracking Project (@COVID19Tracking) July 1, 2020
In his testimony before the Senate HELP Committee on Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci rejected the notion that the Covid-19 crisis will fade away any time soon and said he "would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 [new coronavirus cases] a day if this does not turn around."
"We're going to continue to be in a lot of trouble, and there's going to be a lot of hurt if that does not stop," warned Fauci, who recommended that everyone wear face coverings in public settings and endorsed a proposal by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to distribute masks for free to everyone in the U.S.
"I am not satisfied with what's going on because we are going in the wrong direction if you look at the curves of the new cases, so we've really got to do something about that and we need to do it quickly," Fauci said. "Clearly we are not in total control right now."