WASHINGTON, Sept 28 (Reuters) - The head of a top U.S. government health agency gave a grim assessment of the coronavirus pandemic that contradicts that of President Donald Trump, saying “We’re nowhere near the end,” NBC News reported on Monday.
Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who has been rebuked by Trump for less-rosy assessments of the coronavirus recovery, also expressed concern that Trump’s late addition to the coronavirus task force, Dr. Scott Atlas, is sharing inaccurate information with the president.
“Everything he says is false,” Redfield said in a telephone call Friday on a plane from Atlanta to Washington, NBC reported.
Redfield later told NBC the threat from the coronavirus pandemic was far from over, contradicting Trump’s assertion as he seeks re-election Nov. 3 that the country was “rounding the corner.”
“We’re nowhere near the end,” Redfield said.
Trump publicly dismissed congressional testimony by Redfield earlier this month on when a vaccine could be broadly rolled out, calling him “confused.”
The U.S. president, who was reluctant to urge Americans to wear masks until recently, also criticized Redfield for saying wearing a mask can be just as effective as a vaccine.
The CDC director made his position clear.
“If every one of us did it, this pandemic would be over in eight to 12 weeks,” Redfield told NBC.
The CDC did not immediately return a request for comment on Redfield’s reported remarks.
Atlas is a neuroradiologist with no background in infectious diseases whose views on handling the coronavirus pandemic have been denounced by his peers at Stanford University’s medical school. (Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)
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