President Joe Biden made numerous false and misleading claims on Thursday night during his first primetime address in which he repeatedly failed to give credit to the Trump administration for all the work that it did to get vaccines developed in historic time.
“A year ago, we were hit with a virus that was met with silence and spread unchecked,” Biden falsely claimed. On December 31, China reported the coronavirus to the World Health Organization, which came after people had been getting sick with the virus for weeks. Just a few days later, the Trump administration began to repeatedly reach out to the communist Chinese government in an attempt to get into the nation and help respond to the outbreak. China refused to allow U.S. and international scientists into their country.
Additional early actions taken by the Trump administration include:
January 6: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 1 travel notice for Wuhan, China due to the spreading coronavirus.
January 7: The CDC established a coronavirus incident management system to better share and respond to information about the virus.
January 11: The CDC updated a Level 1 travel health notice for Wuhan, China.
January 17: The CDC began implementing public health entry screening at the 3 U.S. airports that received the most travelers from Wuhan – San Francisco, New York JFK, and Los Angeles.
January 20: Dr. Fauci announced that the National Institutes of Health was already working on the development of a vaccine for the coronavirus.
January 21: The CDC activated its emergency operations center to provide ongoing support to the coronavirus response.
All of those actions were taken before China even launched their quarantine of Wuhan, a city of 11 million people, on January 23. To say that the pandemic was met with “silence,” as Biden said, is false.
That’s why I’m using every power I have as President of the United States to put us on a war footing to get the job done. It sounds like hyperbole, but I mean it: a war footing. And thank God we’re making some real progress now. On my first full day in office, I outlined for you a comprehensive strategy to beat this pandemic. And we have spent every day since attempting to carry it out. Two months ago, the country — this country didn’t have nearly enough vaccine supply to vaccinate all or near all of the American public. But soon we will.
Former HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Brett Giroir, the federal official overseeing coronavirus testing efforts, has repeatedly hit the Biden administration for its false claim that the Trump administration left them “starting from scratch,” with “no plan” to carry out vaccinations, and failed to secure enough vaccine supply. Even left-wing publications and fact-checkers have debunked these claims.
“I am so tired of the continuing lies that @potus inherited a #COVID19Vaccine mess, when in fact 99% of current vaccine manufacturing and distribution is EXACTLY as planned and explicitly described by Trump Administration’s Operation Warp Speed,” Giroir wrote.
I am so tired of the continuing lies that @potus inherited a #COVID19Vaccine mess, when in fact 99% of current vaccine manufacturing and distribution is EXACTLY as planned and explicitly described by Trump Administration's Operation Warp Speed
— Brett Giroir (@DrGiroir) February 25, 2021
We’ve been working with the vaccine manufacturers — Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson — to manufacture and purchase hundreds of millions of doses of these three safe, effective vaccines. And now, at the direction and with the assistance of my administration, Johnson & Johnson is working together with a competitor, Merck, to speed up and increase the capacity to manufacture new Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is one shot.
In fact, just yesterday, I announced — and I met with the CEOs of both companies — I announced our plan to buy an additional 100 million doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines. These two companies — competitors — have come together for the good of the nation, and they should be applauded for it.
However, “the breakthrough touted by Biden was first conceived by Trump officials last year, culminating in a Jan. 4 conference call arranged between Merck and Johnson & Johnson’s senior leaders,” The Washington Post noted yesterday.
The Washington Post added:
Moncef Slaoui — a registered Democrat and pharmaceutical industry veteran who helped lead Trump’s Operation Warp Speed initiative to speed vaccine development — expressed bewilderment about the blame directed by Biden and his top advisers at the early immunization effort, which equipped the United States with multiple vaccines as well as contracts allowing the government to snap up more supply than any other country.
“Honestly I find that unwarranted, unwise and un-understandable,” said Slaoui, who resigned at the Biden administration’s request. “I’m amazed that people felt the need to belittle the work that was done.”
All of this comes against the backdrop of Biden claiming that he wants the country to unify and heal while also saying that the bitter political fighting needs to come to an end.
“Despite calls for national unity and bipartisanship, President Joe Biden and his top aides have declined to give the Trump administration credit on the nation’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout while relying heavily on a system established by their predecessors,” ABC News reported this week. “Biden insists he inherited ‘a mess,’ but the Trump vaccine rollout is a playbook he’s mostly stuck with.”
It’s truly a national effort, just like we saw during World War II. Now because of all the work we’ve done, we’ll have enough vaccine supply for all adults in America by the end of May. That’s months ahead of schedule. And we’re mobilizing thousands of vaccinators to put the vaccine in one’s arm. Calling on active duty military, FEMA, retired doctors and nurses, administrators, and those to administer the shots. …
First, tonight, I’m announcing that I will direct all states, tribes, and territories to make all adults — people 18 and over — eligible to be vaccinated no later than May 1. Let me say that again: All adult Americans will be eligible to get a vaccine no later than May 1. That’s much earlier than expected. Let me be clear: That doesn’t mean everyone’s going to have that shot immediately, but it means you’ll be able to get in line beginning May 1. Every adult will be eligible to get their shot.
To do this, we’re going to go from a million shots a day that I promised in December, before I was sworn in, to maintaining — beating our current pace of two million shots a day, outpacing the rest of the world.
Again, these remarks continue numerous false claims. Trump contracted 800 million vaccine doses, enough for 400 million people, which is more than the U.S. population, before he left office.
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) March 12, 2021
As far as the vaccination timeline is concerned, Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski (Ret.), Operation Warp Speed Supply, Production & Distribution Director, stated in November that “100% of Americans that want the vaccine will have had the vaccine” by June. That is very similar to the goal that Biden announced last night.
“100% of Americans that want the vaccine will have had the vaccine” by June.
— Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski (Ret.), Operation Warp Speed Supply, Production & Distribution Director pic.twitter.com/3UFGYJNBWI
— The Recount (@therecount) November 30, 2020
When I came into office, you may recall, I set a goal that many of you said was, kind of, way over the top. I said I intended to get 100 million shots in people’s arms in my first 100 days in office. Tonight, I can say we are not only going to meet that goal, we’re going to beat that goal.
This is false. On Trump’s final day in office, 1.6 million vaccines were given to Americans and the pace of vaccinating a million Americans a day had effectively been met just two days after Biden took office, according to Bloomberg News, whose data showed that the rates of vaccination had been increasing in the weeks before Biden took over and continued to increase at approximately the same pace throughout Biden’s first week in office.
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