President Donald Trump repeated on Wednesday something he said in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic -- that the virus will "just disappear." Trump made the comments to Fox Business the same day after the U.S. reported 50,000 cases in one day for the first time.
“I think we’re gonna be very good with the coronavirus. I think that at some point that’s going to, sort of, just disappear — I hope,” Trump said at the White House.
When reporter Blake Burman asked him to reiterate, Trump said, "I do, I do. Yeah, sure. At some point. And I think we're going to have a vaccine very soon, too."
On Feb. 27, Trump told reporters at the White House that "One day, it's a miracle. It will disappear." That was when the U.S. had 16 known cases.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. had a world-leading 2.6 million known cases and nearly 128,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 720,000 had recovered.
Johns Hopkins reported that the U.S. had more than 50,000 new cases on Wednesday, the first time that mark had been reached in a single day. For six of the past seven days, the U.S. has recorded more than 40,000 new cases each day. Before last week, the single-day high in the U.S. was about 36,400 cases back on April 24.
The spike has prompted some jurisdictions to re-introduce shutdowns of some businesses including bars and in-restaurant dining. More states in recent days have instituted mandatory face-covering requirements at indoor public places.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, warned on Capitol Hill on Tuesday that the rise across the South and West “puts the entire country at risk” and that new infections could reach 100,000 a day if people don’t start listening to public health authorities.
There is no vaccine for the coronavirus. Fauci has said in recent weeks he is hopeful one can be ready by the end of 2020 or in early 2021.
Trump also praised a rebound in retail sales in his Fox interview. American shoppers ramped up their spending on store purchases by a record of 17.7% from April to May. That came after record-setting month-to-month plunges in March (8.3%) and April (14.7%) as businesses shut down during the pandemic.
Trump's outlook differs from his 2020 presidential election opponent Joe Biden. The former vice president said at a campaign event last week that when it comes to the economy, that “no miracles are coming" until the virus is brought under control.
Trump also touted rising job numbers. The U.S. unemployment rate fell unexpectedly in May to 13.3% after adding 2.5 million jobs as business began recalling workers following massive job losses in April and May.
The June jobs report is due Thursday. It may give an idea of whether jobs are still coming back, getting worse or if things have flattened out. But those numbers were collected in the second week of June. They may not reflect any job losses related to businesses forced to close due to new restrictions in the past couple of weeks.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.