Trump doubles down on vaccine timeline, contradicts top expert

SHOTLIST WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATESSEPTEMBER 16, 2020SOURCE: UNITED STATES SENATERESTRICTIONS: NO RESALE 1. Split screen Donald Trump and Robert Redfield speaking WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATESSEPTEMBER 16, 2020SOURCE: AFPTV 2. SOUNDBITE 1 - Donald Trump, US President (male, English, 18 sec): "[On CDC Director Redfield's testimony to Congress where he told lawmakers a vaccine would not be ready for the general public until summer 2021]No, I think he made a mistake when he said that. That's just incorrect information. And I called him and he didn't tell me that. And I think he got the message maybe confused, maybe it was stated incorrectly. No, we're ready to go immediately as the vaccine is announced. And it could be announced in Cctober or it could be announced a little bit after October." WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATESSEPTEMBER 16, 2020SOURCE: UNITED STATES SENATERESTRICTIONS: NO RESALE 3. Wide shot Robert R. Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sits at the start of a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing 4. SOUNDBITE 2 - Robert R. Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (male, English, 31 sec): "I think there will be vaccine that initially will be available sometime between November and December, but very limited supply and will have to be prioritized. If you're asking me when is it going to be generally available to the American public so we can begin to take advantage of vaccine to get back to our regular life, I think we're probably looking at late second quarter, third quarter 2021." WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATESSEPTEMBER 16, 2020SOURCE: AFPTV 5. SOUNDBITE 3 - Donald Trump, US President (male, English, 14 sec): "We're on track to deliver and distribute the vaccine in a very, very safe and effective manner. We think we can start sometime in October, so as soon as it is announced, we'll be able to start. That'll be from mid-October on." 6. SOUNDBITE 4 - Donald Trump, US President (English, 9 sec): "As soon as it's given the go ahead, we'll get it out, we'll defeat the virus. We've manufactured all of the necessary supplies so that as soon as the FDA approves the vaccine. As you know, we're very close to that, we'll be able to distribute at least 100 million vaccine doses by the end of 2020." 7. Mid shot US President Donald Trump leaves the lectern in the White house briefing room ///-----------------------------------------------------------2 DEPECHES DE CONTEXTE: Trump says no TikTok deal yet amid security concernsWashington, Sept 17, 2020 (AFP) - President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he wasn't ready to approve a deal for an American company to partner with Chinese-owned video app TikTok, which would allow it to continue operating in the United States.The president said the day before that Silicon Valley tech giant Oracle was "very close" to agreeing to become the "trusted technology provider" to the app, a condition demanded by Washington to assuage fears that TikTok is a national security threat.However Trump on Wednesday said such a deal had not yet been reached but he would be meeting with officials about it on Thursday."It has to be 100 percent as far as national security is concerned. And no, I'm not prepared to sign off on anything. I need to see the deal," Trump told reporters ahead of the September 20 deadline for TikTok's owner ByteDance to sell its US operations or face the app's shutdown in the country.He also said he opposed an arrangement reported by media outlets in which ByteDance would keep a majority stake in the company and Oracle a minority stake."We don't like that. Conceptually, I can tell you I don't like that," Trump said.Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg reported earlier in the day that Oracle's proposal fell short of addressing the Trump administration's concerns over national security, though the deal remains under discussion.The Financial Times had earlier reported that ByteDance was to place TikTok's global business in a new US-headquartered company with Oracle investing as a minority shareholder along with other US investors.The TikTok saga has seen several twists, with Microsoft seen initially as the suitor before its bid was rejected.Chinese authorities have said they would not allow ByteDance to sell the algorithms used by TikTok which are believed to hold much of the value for the popular social platform.TikTok said in a statement that "we've submitted a proposal to the Treasury Department which we believe would resolve the Administration's security concerns" and allow the app to continue to be used by 100 million people in the US.Trump has demanded a significant portion of the sale go to the US Treasury, but said Wednesday he'd been advised that wasn't possible."I want a big chunk of that money to go to the United States government because we made it possible. And the lawyers come back to me and they say there is no way of doing that because nobody has ever heard of that before," he said.cs/st ------------------------------------------------------------- newseriesTrump doubles down on vaccine timeline, contradicts top expert By Michael Mathes, with Elodie Cuzin in Wilmington =(Picture+Graphic)= ATTENTION - RECASTS with Trump comments including his rebuke of CDC director's remarks on vaccine and masks ///Washington, Sept 17, 2020 (AFP) - President Donald Trump expressed renewed confidence Wednesday that a viable Covid-19 vaccine would be ready by October, directly contradicting a top administration health expert and facing fierce criticism from his Democratic election rival Joe Biden.Trump sowed confusion about the issue with an extraordinary public rebuke of one of his top health experts who said masks were a leading weapon for fighting the pandemic and that a vaccine was unlikely to be widely available until mid-2021."I think he made a mistake when he said that. That's just incorrect information," Trump told reporters referring to Senate testimony by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Robert Redfield."We're very close to that vaccine as you know... We think we can start sometime in October" or shortly thereafter, Trump said."I believe he was confused," he said of Redfield. "I am just telling you we are ready to go as soon as the vaccine happens."Redfield told lawmakers Wednesday that a "very limited" distribution to priority groups including first responders could begin in November and December, but that full implementation would take many more months at least."I think we're probably looking at late second quarter, third quarter 2021" before a safe and effective vaccine would be available to the general public, he added.The contradiction between Trump and health experts on an issue that has become a focal point of the 2020 election campaign highlighted the lack of trust Biden said he and the public have in the president's handling of the pandemic which has killed nearly 200,000 Americans."When I said I trust vaccines, and I trust the scientists, but I don't trust Donald Trump — this is what I meant," Biden tweeted after Trump's remarks.Barely an hour earlier the Democratic nominee said Trump's refusal to take key steps to tackle the pandemic, like instituting national guidelines on social distancing and testing, were "utterly disqualifying" for the presidency.The Democratic nominee, speaking after receiving a briefing by public health experts, said he supported a rapid Covid-19 vaccine to help American life return to normal, but said the process should be guided by science and safety, not politics. - 'He's the president' - On Tuesday Trump accelerated his own already optimistic predictions, saying a vaccine may be available even before the November 3 presidential election."We're within weeks of getting it, you know -- could be three weeks, four weeks," he told a town hall question-and-answer session with voters in Pennsylvania aired on ABC.Democrats have expressed concern that Trump is pressuring government health regulators and scientists to approve a rushed vaccine in time to help his uphill bid for reelection.Trump also raised eyebrows when asked at the town hall why he had downplayed the gravity of the pandemic in its early months."I didn't downplay it," Trump replied. "I actually, in many ways, I up-played it in terms of action."But Trump himself told journalist Bob Woodward during taped interviews that he had deliberately decided to "play it down" to avoid alarming Americans.The president, who is rarely seen wearing a mask in public and long refused to push Americans to adopt the habit, told the town hall that "a lot of people don't want to wear masks and people don't think masks are good."The comment caught wide flak, including from Biden, who also knocked Trump for saying the Democrat declined to institute a mask mandate."I'm not the president, he's the president," Biden whispered into the microphone.Trump's anti-mask message got a dressing down of sorts by Redfield too, as the CDC director held up a medical mask to senators and said "I might go so far as to say that this facemask is more guaranteed to protect me against Covid than when I take a Covid vaccine."Trump rejected the assertion outright, and noted that he called Redfield to ask him what he meant."I think there are a lot of problems with masks," Trump said. "It's not more effective than a vaccine."Biden routinely appears at campaign events wearing a mask, and usually takes it off to deliver a speech. Trump, who is trailing in pre-election polling, has mocked Biden for wearing a mask. Polls show a majority of Americans disapprove of Trump's handling of the pandemic.mlm/bfm -------------------------------------------------------------