During his press conference on police reform in the Rose Garden, US President Donald Trump falsely claimed that there is an "AIDS vaccine", before correcting himself and saying there are "treatments" that allow HIV-positive people to "live with a pill". POTUS elaborated on the topic of vaccines, linking the fight against AIDS with ongoing work to find a cure for the coronavirus pandemic.
"They've come up with the AIDS vaccine. They have come up... or the AIDS - you know, there's various things and now various companies are involved. But the therapeutic for AIDS. AIDS was a death sentence. Now people will live a life with a pill. It's an incredible thing", Trump said.
The president's comment sparked ridicule and outrage, particularly among Twitter users, who immediately sough to enlighten the president that there is no "AIDS vaccine".
There is no AIDS vaccine.— Kim Cavill (@sexposparenting) June 16, 2020
PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a highly effective HIV prevention drug developed with taxpayer funds that costs $8/month in Australia and $2400/month in the USA. The CDC estimates over 1 million Americans need PrEP and can’t afford it. https://t.co/qhdltPZCpg
For some users, it was at first good news to see "AIDS vaccine" trending on Twitter in these gloomy times, but disappointment awaited.
I got excited when I saw "AIDS Vaccine" trending b/c I thought "finally, something is going right in 2020."— Qasim Rashid for Congress (@QasimRashid) June 16, 2020
Then I realized the man who called COVID19 a hoax, refuses adequate testing, & pushes debunked medications now magically invented a vaccine that doesn't actually exist.
DID WE ALL MISS THE INVENTION OF THE AIDS VACCINE OR IS THAT YET ANOTHER THROWAWAY TRUMP LIE?— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) June 16, 2020
However, some were more insightful and did not let their hopes rise too soon.
I didn't even have to check why AIDS vaccine was trending. I immediately knew who said it. This is where we are now.— Wajahat "Social Distance Yourself" Ali (@WajahatAli) June 16, 2020
His vaccine: if you stand really still the AIDS virus and Coronavirus won't see you— Phillyboy94 (@Phillyboy94) June 16, 2020
Some people noted that at first they thought that they had missed the historic moment of "discovering" an "AIDS vaccine".
I was too busy watching Trump’s hair trying to make a run for it in the wind to notice that he said that there’s an AIDS vaccine.— Hamish Mitchell (@H_MitchellPhoto) June 16, 2020
Speaking on the COVID-19 pandemic, Trump promised that a vaccine against the coronavirus "is going to happen very soon" and in his usual style claimed that the day upon which the COVID-19 vaccine is released would be: "fantastic".
"I always say, even without it, it goes away. But if we had the vaccine, and we will, if we had therapeutic or cure, one thing sort of blends in to the other, it will be a fantastic day. I think that's going to happen and it's going to happen very soon", he reflected.
Not many people share Trump's optimism, noting that the only common thing between a vaccine against the two diseases is that they both still do not exist.
If he could just stick to the teleprompter 🤦🏽♀️— Benti F. (@FrankiB) June 16, 2020
Interesting how there’s no AIDS vaccine but that coronavirus vaccine 💉 will be ready by the end of the year. #Priorities
Donald boasts about “the AIDS vaccine.”— Mrs. Betty Bowers (@BettyBowers) June 16, 2020
It’s a lot like the “Coronavirus vaccine” he keeps talking about — it doesn’t exist.pic.twitter.com/giIck9YfLY
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). While there are treatments and therapeutics for the infection that allow one to live longer with the disease, there is no licensed vaccine to protect againts the HIV virus.