President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he believes the coronavirus will "just disappear" even as cases explode across the U.S. and top health officials warn that the country needs to do more to stop the spread.
"I think we're going to be very good with the coronavirus. I think that at some point that's going to sort of just disappear, I hope," Trump said in an interview with Fox Business Network.
When asked if he "still" believed the virus would "disappear" at some point as he had suggested earlier in the year when the pandemic first hit the U.S, Trump said, "I do." He added, "I think we're going to have a vaccine very soon too."
Trump’s comments come amid a dramatic increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. in the past few weeks as states began to relax stay-at-home orders and reopen parts of the economy.
Asked about Trump's comments later Wednesday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said, "the president is confident that it will disappear. He's put together a revolutionary first-class team that is going to break through bureaucracy and get us a vaccine."
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, warned Tuesday that the number of coronavirus cases diagnosed each day could still continue to rise.
"We are now having [40,000+] new cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around," Fauci said. "Clearly we are not in total control."
Fauci said that he was "very concerned" about the recent increase in cases, "particularly in the four states that are accounting for about 50 percent of the new infections."
Those states — Arizona, California, Florida and Texas — have all recently been forced to shut down bars and other service industry businesses as virus cases surge.
California, which appeared to have a handle on the infection rate earlier in the pandemic, announced Wednesday they would roll back parts of their economy reopening, closing down bars and indoor dining again ahead of the Fourth of July weekend. New York also on Wednesday indefinitetly postponed plans to reopen indoor dining.
More than 126,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.