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President Trump told Fox Business in an interview Wednesday that he still believes the coronavirus will "at some point just sort of disappear," as he first claimed in February before the pandemic was declared.

Why it matters: The coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., which has already seen more than 2.6 million Americans test positive, is continuing to accelerate across the Sun Belt and has shown no signs of slowing down. Anthony Fauci testified Tuesday that he would "not be surprised" if the U.S. begins reporting as many as 100,000 new coronavirus cases per day.

The exchange:

TRUMP: "We're heading back in a very strong fashion, with a V. And I think we're going to be very good with the coronavirus. I think at some point that's going to sort of just disappear, I hope."
BLAKE BURMAN: "You still believe so? Disappear?"
TRUMP: "Well I do, I do. Yeah sure, at some point. And I think we're going to have a vaccine very soon too."

The big picture: Trump told Fox Business that he's "all for masks" and that he would wear one if he were in a close-quarter situation — but still maintained that he doesn't think it should be mandatory. This comes as top Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have increasingly stressed the importance of wearing masks amid a stark partisan divide.

Go deeper: Where the science stands on using face masks against coronavirus

Go deeper

Updated Oct 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden balks at Trumpless town hall debate

Photo by Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images; Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

After President Trump announced he would not participate in a virtual debate next week, Joe Biden's campaign released a statement Thursday that the former vice president would instead "find an appropriate place to take questions from voters directly."

The state of play: The Commission on Presidential Debates announced the town hall would be entirely virtual "for the health and safety of all involved" as Trump continues to recover from coronavirus.

Updated 23 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: New York Supreme Court grants stay for indoor mask mandate — Neil Young demands Spotify take down music over vaccine misinformation — Biden admin withdraws temporary vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker
Updated Oct 25, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trumpworld coronavirus tracker

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

An outbreak of COVID-19 has struck the White House — including the president himself — just weeks before the 2020 election.

Why it matters: If the president can get infected, anyone can. And the scramble to figure out the scope of this outbreak is a high-profile, high-stakes microcosm of America's larger failures to contain the virus and to stand up a contact-tracing system that can respond to new cases before they have a chance to become outbreaks.

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