Donald Trump said the director of the CDC was "contradicting himself" after testifying before Congress that a vaccine would not be widely available until mid-2021 and that wearing face masks were more effective than a vaccine.
Asked about the testimony during a marathon press conference late on Wednesday, the president said that Mr Redfield was "mistaken" on both occasions, and either didn't understand the question or wasn't fully aware of the facts when giving out wrong information.
While Mr Trump said he still had confidence in Mr Redfield, another top health official took a sudden leave of absence after promoting wild conspiracy theories warning people to stock on ammunition ahead of an Antifa-led, left-wing insurrection.
Michael Caputo was said to be taking a leave for the next 60 days “to focus on his health” after he claimed there was a “resistance” against the president at the CDC. The spokesperson also alleged Joe Biden would refuse to concede the election if he were to lose against Mr Trump.
The president shared a meme on Twitter pushing a conspiracy theory that insinuates left-wing Antifa activists started the California wildfires on purpose.
The biggest threat to the election, the president said, were the millions of paper ballots controlled by Democratic governors that were vulnerable to forgeries and "things that will blow your mind" from Russia, China and other countries.
Mr Trump said those same governors need to open their states because lockdowns were hurting "far more" people than coronavirus, before saying coronavirus was one of the most contagious virus the world had ever seen.
The president suggested an October vaccine was closer than most people understand, and called on Mr Biden to stop promoting anti-vaccine theories that would recklessly endanger lives.
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