President Joe Biden just can’t bring himself to do it.
The “uniter” president just can’t bring himself to give any credit to the Trump administration for the successful development of the COVID-19 vaccine in record time thanks to Operation Warp Speed, and the 45th president took note of the snub.
At the White House on Thursday, Biden celebrated the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks.
“It’s been made possible by the extraordinary success we’ve had in vaccinating so many Americans so quickly,” Biden said.
“This vaccination effort has been an historic logistical achievement for the United States of America,” he added.
The president listed many entities that deserve credit tying them all to the number of days he has been in office.
“Over the past 114 days, our vaccination program has led the world, and that’s due to the incredible hard work of so many people — the scientists and researchers, the drug companies, the National Guard, the U.S. military, FEMA, the nation’s governors, doctors, nurses, pharmacists,” he said.
As a reminder, the week Biden became president in late January, an average of 1.3 million Americans were being vaccinated per day, according to data from The New York Times, so the rollout was well underway.
“Some people said we couldn’t do this, that it would not be until the fall that we had this many people vaccinated, that 2021 might be a lost year for our country, as 2020 was. But we proved the doubters wrong,” Biden proclaimed.
Biden, however, apparently isn’t a big enough man to share any credit for the achievement with his predecessor.
Joe not only plagarizes speeches, but accomplishments. He just thanked everyone who helped get the vaccine available, but forgot to thank the ONE person most responsible for Operation Warp Speed, President Trump. At least he's finally taking off his mask outdoors!
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) May 13, 2021
It was Trump’s business sense that undoubtedly helped him know how to incentivize companies like Pfizer and Moderna, along with the Food and Drug Administration, to make it happen in less than nine months.
Trump noted Biden’s failure to offer any credit to his predecessor in a Friday statement, saying, “Isn’t it incredible that because of the vaccines, which I and my Administration came up with years ahead of schedule (despite the fact that everybody, including [Dr. Anthony] Fauci, said would never happen), that we no longer need masks, and yet our names are not even mentioned in what everybody is calling the modern day miracle of the vaccines?
“Without the vaccines, this world would have been in for another 1917 Spanish Flu, where up to 100 million people died,” Trump continued.
“Because of the vaccines we pushed and developed in record time, nothing like that will be even close to happening. Just a mention please! The Biden Administration had zero to do with it. All they did was continue our plan of distribution, which was working well right from the beginning!”
According to Medical News Today, “Under normal circumstances, making a vaccine can take up to 10–15 years. This is because of the complexity of vaccine development.”
The previous record for vaccine development was for the mumps, which took four years.
Experts interviewed by Medical News Today credited Operation Warp Speed, worldwide cooperation and massive funding for enabling a COVID vaccine to be developed so quickly.
In February, it was clear Biden was keen on convincing the American public that his administration should get the lion’s share of the credit for the rollout of the vaccine.
During a CNN town hall, Biden went so far as to say, in an apparent gaffe, there was no vaccine when he took office.
“The biggest thing, though, is that you remember … when you and I talked last, we talked about, it’s one thing to have the vaccine — which we didn’t have when we came into office — but a vaccinator,” Biden told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “How do you get the vaccine into someone’s arm?”
It would seem the point he was trying to get across, however clumsily, was, “I am the guy. My administration is making it happen.”
Biden continued in this vein of wanting to take credit for the vaccination effort while touring a Pfizer production plant in Michigan later that month.
“Just over four weeks ago, America had no real plan to vaccinate most of the country,” the president said.
Politifact rated a similar claim by Biden’s chief of staff Ron Klain in January as mostly false.
“My predecessor, as my mother would say, ‘God love him,’ failed to order enough vaccines, failed to mobilize the effort to administer the shots, failed to set up vaccine centers. That changed the moment we took office,” Biden said.
Kaiser Health News, in partnership with PolitiFact, rated Biden’s claim that Trump had not contracted to buy enough vaccine doses for adults as mostly false as well.
Operation Warp Speed had contracted for enough vaccine doses for over 400 million people. The entire population of the United States is about 328 million.
The Trump administration had bought 100 million doses from Pfizer even before the vaccine was proven effective. His team then purchased an additional 100 million doses in December.
Trump officials did the same for the Moderna vaccine for a total of 400 million between the two manufacturers. Both require a two-dose regiment.
It is understandable why Biden is so keen on taking credit for the vaccine rollout. It is one of the few policy choices in his administration where he was wise enough to follow the maxim, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Biden received his highest marks in recent polling for his handling of the coronavirus. Even nearly half of the Republicans surveyed approved of his handling of the pandemic, according to the Associated Press/NORC poll.
If he truly wants to unite the country, he would give credit where credit is due and thank the Trump administration for the success of Operation Warp Speed in making the vaccine rollout even possible.