United States President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference on corona viruses at the White House in Washington, the United States, on July 21, 2020.
Leah Millis | Reuters
President Donald Trump said Tuesday that his government was "developing a strategy to fight the coronavirus pandemic," adding that this action plan "has evolved over time."
Trump's statements came more than six months after the first coronavirus cases were reported in the United States. In the United States, at least 141,000 people have now died of Covid-19 and, according to Johns Hopkins University, more than 3.8 million have been infected.
"We have learned so much about this disease and know who the vulnerable are, and we will actually shield them," Trump said during his first press conference on Covid-19 from the White House meeting room in almost three months.
The virus "is a malignant and dangerous disease, but we have learned a lot about it and who it affects," said the president.
"We are developing a strategy that will be very, very powerful. We have evolved over time," he said. "Some regions of our country are doing very well, others are doing less well."
Trump then submitted a list of measures his government has taken, e.g. For example, increasing the availability of virus testing and sending thousands of members of the National Guard to countries with the worst outbreaks.
"Ultimately, our goal is not just to fight the pandemic but to end it," Trump said, noting that developing and distributing an effective vaccine is a "top priority" for his administration.
Trump, which faces a tough re-election campaign in November, has previously urged heads of state to quickly reopen their economies, many of which have been destroyed by the stringent barriers that have been put in place to slow the spread of the virus.
Given that multiple states have seen record-breaking infections and hospitalizations in the past few weeks, Trump admitted Tuesday that the pandemic is likely to "worsen before it gets better".
"It's something I don't like to say about things, but it is, we have," said Trump, who previously described himself as a "cheerleader" for the country. "You see over the world, it's all over the world."
Nevertheless, Trump reiterated his belief at the press conference that "the virus will go away. It will go away."
The White House Coronavirus Task Force, led by Vice President Mike Pence and coordinated by Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's leading infectious disease expert, had held regular briefings on Covid-19 earlier this year.
The president had attended these almost daily briefings. But they ended almost in late April, shortly after Trump speculated about whether disinfectants could be injected to treat the virus. He later claimed to have sarcastically asked this question.
On Monday, Trump announced that he would resume the briefings. But no members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force accompanied him on Tuesday night about the virus.