CDC's Redfield: Facemasks more powerful than vaccines in COVID-19 battle

Dr Robert Redfield said face masks may be more effective protection than a coronavirus vaccine

"I think he made a mistake when he said that".

But Trump again disagreed with the CDC director.

Pfizer's vaccine would need to be at least 76.9 percent effective to show it works based on 32 infections, according to its protocol.

The pandemic news day began somewhat innocuously, with routine congressional testimony by CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield on a COVID vaccine, including a discussion about its timing and distribution.

CDC sent a planning document on Wednesday to USA states, territories and some big cities. The president promised 100 million doses of a vaccine would be delivered by the end of the year.

He said he called Redfield after his testimony. "I think it's just incorrect information", Trump said of Redfield's comments.

Trump also suggested that Redfield was confused when he said face masks may be more effective than a vaccine in some cases. The shot wouldn't be broadly available until the spring or summer 2021, he estimated.

The US leader was initially reluctant to urge Americans to wear masks but has since been more willing to do so. They're touching it and then they're touching the plate.

The entire vaccine enterprise faces continued public skepticism.

In one Associated Press poll, one in five Americans said they would not get a coronavirus vaccine, and 31% said they were unsure whether they would. The opposition Democrats have therefore already expressed fears that Trump is putting massive pressure on researchers and health authorities to get a vaccine approved as soon as possible.

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Distribution of the new vaccines will follow a playbook developed by the CDC. "There was absolutely no political thinking about it".

Trial pauses for safety reasons - like the one recently announced by AstraZeneca - could also slow down the timeline, even if the safety problems are ultimately found to be unrelated to the vaccine.

"That can't be good", Trump said, before briefly pivoting to Dr. Anthony Fauci's remarks discouraging the public from wearing masks early this year. "Under no circumstances will it be as late as the doctor said", Trump said.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said while campaigning that he trusts what scientists say about a potential vaccine - but not Trump. "But less than hour later, an agency spokesman said the information should not be used".

The latest muddled messaging from the administration - with scientists saying one thing and the president contradicting them - comes as Trump for days has had to defend himself against charges that he knew early on that the pandemic was far more risky than he told the public.

Most vaccines in development will require two doses per person. He doesn't believe his statements that a vaccine should be available in a few weeks.

If a substantial portion of the population declines to get vaccinated, that picture gets far messier. A second and third phase would expand vaccination to the entire country. They're taking a tremendous financial risk, and they're spending billions of dollars on actually making this vaccine.

Biden also talked about his proposal to instate a national mask mandate, which he says could save tens of thousands of lives.

In addition, state and local communities will devise their own plans for receiving and distributing vaccines.

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