At President Donald Trump’s coronavirus news conference on Wednesday, he ostracized the Washington Post and other media outlets for “misquoting” CDC head Dr. Robert Redfield about a potential second wave of the coronavirus.
But at the very same news conference, Dr. Redfield told reporters that he was not misquoted, and he added if a second wave of a coronavirus comes concurrently with the annual rise in the flu, the coronavirus would be “more difficult.”
On Tuesday, Dr. Redfield was quoted by the Washington Post in Tuesday's report "CDC director warns second wave of coronavirus is likely to be even more devastating" saying, “There’s a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through.” He added, “We’re going to have the flu epidemic and the coronavirus epidemic at the same time."
Dr. Redfield subsequently retweeted the Post’s report on his Twitter page.
On Wednesday, Trump tweeted that Dr. Redfield was misquoted, a claim Trump repeated at the start of Wednesday’s news conference.
“Dr. Robert Redfield was totally misquoted in the media about the fall season and the virus,” Trump said. “Totally misquoted. I spoke to him and he said it was ridiculous. He was talking about the flu and coronavirus coming together at the at the same time. And we will knock it out. We'll knock it out fast. That's what he was referring to.”
Dr. Redfield was then asked if he was accurately quoted in the Post, which he responded, “I was accurately quoted in the "Washington Post."
Trump then addressed a potential second wave of the virus, which he says may or may not happen.
“If it comes back, it won't be coming back in the form that it was, it will be coming back in smaller doses that we contain,”Trump said. “What (Dr. Redfield) was saying, he was saying if it should come back, now you have the flu and the embers of corona. It cannot be anything like anything we have seen right now. What we have just gone through, we will not gone through.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Health and the White House’s infectious disease expert, said scientists and doctors cannot predict the scope of a second wave, but added “there will be coronavirus in the fall.”
Dr. Fauci agreed that a combination of flu and coronavirus cases would make the response to the virus more complicated. Dr. Fauci also agreed with Trump’s assertion that the US will be better prepared to mitigate cases during a potential second wave in the fall.
“What happens with that will depend on how we're able to contain it when it occurs,” Dr. Fauci said. “What we're saying is that in the fall, we will be much, much better prepared to do the kind of containment, compared to what happened to us this winter.”
Justin Boggs is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @jjboggs or on Facebook .