Trump’s pivot to touting therapeutics underscores his desperation to claim that his government is making significant progress in combating the pandemic. And it is an attempt, too, to turn his own Covid-19 diagnosis from a weakness into a strength, bolstering the dangerous arguments that Americans shouldn’t fear the virus or let it “dominate” their lives.

“Clearly, there’s been a shift in what the President talks about,” said Walid Gellad, a physician and health policy professor at the University of Pittsburgh. “That may just be a factor of the personal experience, although clearly it’s also related to the reality of the vaccine. I don’t know which of those it is.”

Trump’s latest comments have stoked additional fear among public health experts and scientists that Americans will take the president’s advice and largely ignore the pandemic unfolding around them. Even as Trump campaigns regularly in front of thousands of mostly unmasked supporters, case rates are spiking across the country. Over 700 Americans still die of Covid-19 each day.