NEW YORK (AP) — “I did the best I could,” President Donald Trump said.
Huddled with aides in the West Wing last week, his eyes fixed on Fox News, Trump wasn’t talking about how he had led the nation through the deadliest pandemic in a century. In a conversation overheard by an Associated Press reporter, Trump was describing how he’d just publicly rebuked one of his top scientists — Dr. Robert Redfield, a virologist and head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Redfield had angered the president by asserting that a COVID-19 vaccine wouldn’t be widely available until late 2021. So hours later, with no supporting evidence, Trump called a news conference to say Redfield was “confused.” A vaccine, Trump insisted, could be ready before November’s election.
Mission accomplished: Fox was headlining Trump’s latest foray in his administration’s ongoing war against its own scientists.
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