After US President Donald Trump called him "mistaken" and "confused," Robert Redfield director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), took back his statement from his Senate testimony where he said that masks are better than vaccines against COVID-19.
Masks are the most effective tool in preventing COVID-19
On Sunday, during an inquiry with the Senate subcommittee, Redfield said that wearing masks may be able to help the spread and infection of COVID-19 better than a vaccine. He also stated that a vaccine should not be expected until next year.
The comments of the CDC director came after Senator Jack Reed asked him about the decision of the president in foregoing masks in public. Reed referred to it as cutting one of the most vital ways Americans are able to protect themselves from the virus.
In his statement, Redfield emphasized the importance of masks and said that he might even consider masks giving more guarantee of protecting a person from COVID-19 than a vaccine shot, Business Insider reported.
Moreover, he added that vaccines are not always 100% effective, Redfield cited the possibility of a person not developing an immune response after vaccination, thus, the vaccine will not protect him. He said. However, that wearing masks gives assurance of protection.
Trump calls out the CDC director's statement
Only a few hours after Redfield made his comments, Trump called him out during a news briefing in the White House. Trump said that Redfield was wrong on both his stand on masks and vaccines and his statement saying a vaccine is not to be expected within the year.
According to USA Today.Trump said that he immediately called Redfield after his testimony and asked him what he meant by his statement. The president stated that the CDC director simply misunderstood the question and made a mistake before the Senate.
Trump has repeatedly asserted that the Us is prepared to distribute a vaccine to the majority of the states when it becomes available, noting that it could happen as early as next month.
It can also be noted that Trump has also repeatedly shown doubt and skepticism on the efficacy of masks in several of his talks.
Redfield clarifies statement
Shortly after Trump made called him out, Redfield, through social media, clarified his statement. In a tweet, the CDC director said that he believes that a vaccine is 100% important in combating the pandemic.
The virologist also noted that what he meant was that while there is still no vaccine available, masks give the best defense against the virus. He also added that it is the best way to mitigate the spread of the virus while the vaccine is still under development.
Redfield also added that he believes that a COVID-19 vaccine is what America and the world need in order to return to normal.
Meanwhile, Daily Mail reported that critics and social media have mixed reactions to the virologist's sudden change in opinion. Many have called on him to resign after he changed his mind as Trump called him out.
Related article: Donald Trump Touts Coronavirus Vaccine Coming As Soon As October