WATCH: Mitch McConnell Contradicts Donald Trump On COVID-19: It’s Not Gonna Just Go Away
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell contradicted President Donald Trump Monday morning in a short PSA-style video. He said that COVID-19 won’t just go away, as Trump has repeatedly claimed, and that “no one believes” there will be a vaccine before the end of the year — something else Trump has explicitly claimed.
Let me just point out that the one thing each of us can do all across America to help protect ourselves and others is to wear a mask and practice social distancing. This coronavirus is not going to automatically go away. It’s not gonna go away until we get a vaccine. No one believes we’ll have a vaccine sooner — and available sooner — than the end of the year, or early next year. So in the meantime we all need to work together to do something really simple like wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.
This terrible virus is still with us and America’s fight continues. Across the country, by taking commonsense steps – like wearing a mask and practicing social distancing – we’ll get through this together. pic.twitter.com/0BRIa8bw13
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) July 26, 2020
While everything McConnell says in the short clip matches neatly with the advice from medical experts, all of it also contradicts Donald Trump and his administration. As NY Mag reports, Trump said in February that the virus would go away on its own soon. In April, when pressed on how the U.S. had reached 1 million cases, he merely insisted that it will go away eventually.
McConnell not only says that there won’t be a vaccine before the end of the year, but actually that “no one believes” there will be a vaccine sooner. By contrast, an official White House transcript shows Trump predicting exactly that.
But what we’d like to do, if we can, is the vaccine. I think we’re going to be successful in doing it and hopefully by the end of the year.
As for masks, Trump has never explicitly said not to wear one. Recently, he even tweeted a promotion of masks, saying that it’s patriotic to wear one.
We are United in our effort to defeat the Invisible China Virus, and many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance. There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President! pic.twitter.com/iQOd1whktN
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2020
However, his administration has opposed mandatory masking, and he has promoted anti-mask rhetoric, such as mocking Joe Biden for wearing one in public. His press secretary has said from her podium that wearing a mask is an individual choice.