Trump uses 'AIDS vaccine' as proof scientists can develop COVID-19 vaccine

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Bob Woodward book will include details of 25 personal letters between Trump and Kim Jong Un On The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' Biden commemorates anniversary of Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' rally: 'We are in a battle for the soul of our nation' MORE touted the development of an “AIDS vaccine” on Tuesday as he predicted that scientists will create a vaccine for the coronavirus by the end of the year. 

An AIDS vaccine does not yet exist. 

“These are the people — the best, the smartest, the most brilliant anywhere,” Trump said Tuesday during signing of an executive order on policing. 

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“And they've come up with the AIDS vaccine. They've come up with — or the AIDS. And they — as you know, there's various things, and now various companies are involved. But the therapeutic for AIDS — AIDS was a death sentence, and now people live a life with a pill. It's an incredible thing,” Trump added. 

Trump appeared to be referencing PrEP, an HIV/AIDS prevention method that uses drugs taken regularly to reduce transmission of the disease.  

He also cited the Ebola vaccine during his speech, predicting a coronavirus vaccine will be available by the end of the year. 

“These are the people that have done it, or these are the people that have been around it, and they're all competing. It's an incredible thing. All of these brilliant firms, labs, companies are competing. And I will tell you, we're very far advanced. We've already started tests and trials,” Trump said. 

People were quick to call out Trump’s false statement on Twitter, including Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalSanders offers bill to tax billionaires' wealth gains during pandemic Matt Stoller: Big tech House grilling the most important hearing on corporate power since the 1930s Hillicon Valley: House panel grills tech CEOs during much anticipated antitrust hearing | TikTok to make code public as it pushes back against 'misinformation' | House Intel panel expands access to foreign disinformation evidence MORE (D-Wash.) who responded to Trump’s comments with a “FACT CHECK” and noted that PrEP “can be extremely expensive.” 

“FACT CHECK: There is no AIDS vaccine,” Jayapal tweeted.

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“In fact, PrEP, a drug that’s highly effective in preventing HIV, can be extremely expensive — and the Trump administration’s program that’s supposed to cover the cost for thousands of uninsured people requires out-of-pocket testing fees,” she added.

Eugene Gu, CEO of Cool Quit, said Trump’s remarks about an AIDS vaccine are “dangerous” and could cause confusion, as PrEP needs to be taken regularly as directed by a doctor. 

“For these HIV PrEP drugs to work correctly, you must take them regularly as directed by your doctor. That’s why Trump’s remarks about an AIDS vaccine is so dangerous. As a physician, I’m worried that some patients may get the wrong impression that HIV PrEP is a one-time vaccine,” Gu said in a series of tweets. 

He also noted the high cost of PrEP as a reason Trump’s comments are dangerous, saying that some patients low on funds may decide to take only one dose “hoping that works like a vaccine because they can’t afford more.”