President Donald Trump is traveling to Allentown, Pennsylvania Thursday to highlight a U.S. medical equipment distributor.
He’s trying to convince the American public that it’s time for states to begin to reopen, even as the virus continues to spread.
As he departed the White House, Trump said Pennsylvania needs to think about opening back up. “You have a lot of people who want their freedom and they’ll get their freedom very soon,” he said.
The president also predicted the U.S. would have a vaccine available by the end of the year. And he said distribution of the vaccine “will take place almost simultaneously.”
Other health experts have predicted a vaccine could take up to 12-18 months to develop.
On the testimony Thursday morning of government whistleblower Rick Bright, who that the U.S. lacks a plan to produce and distribute a coronavirus vaccine and said the nation could face “the darkest winter in modern history,” Trump called Bright “a disgruntled, unhappy person.”
“I don’t know him. I never met him,” Trump said. “But I watched him and he looked like an angry, disgruntled employee who frankly, according to some people, didn’t do a very good job.”
Bright alleges he was ousted from a high-level scientific post after warning the Trump administration to prepare for the pandemic.
The president also said he was “okay” with the head of the World Trade Organization’s announcement that he will leave his post a year before his term expires.
Roberto Azevedo, a former diplomat from Brazil, said he will step down on Aug. 31, cutting short a seven-year tenure.
Trump has repeatedly accused the Geneva-based trade body of an anti-U.S. bias and other complaints.