On Wednesday, President Joe Biden gave his first address to Congress in what was a painstakingly long, mostly self-aggrandizing speech. At the start, though, Biden’s speech saluted former President Donald Trump, even if Biden would not admit it.
At the beginning of his speech, Biden began spouting off stats about the success of COVID-19 vaccines around the country, implying that his administration was responsible for them.
“After I promised to get 100 million COVID-19 vaccine shots into people’s arms in 100 days – we will have provided over 220 million COVID shots in those 100 days,” he said. “We’re marshaling, with your help, everyone’s help, we’re marshaling every federal resource. We’ve gotten the vaccine to nearly 40,000 pharmacies and over 700 community health centers, where the poorest of the poor can be reached.
“We’re setting up community vaccination sites, developing mobile units to get to hard-to-reach communities. Today, 90 percent of Americans now live within five miles of a vaccination site.”
What Biden failed to mention is that the majority of that success comes as a result of work done by Trump’s administration, not Biden’s.
Forbes reported in March that Moncef Slaoui, the head of the Trump vaccine development program Operation Warp Speed, said the Trump administration left Biden in a great situation with regards to vaccine distribution.
“In fact 90 percent of what’s happening now is the plan that we had,” Slaoui told the CBS program “Face the Nation,” according to Forbes. “We constructed specifically 100 million doses of the vaccine, but we also built into the contract options to acquire more vaccines once we knew they are effective.”
Even The New York Times has acknowledged that the Trump administration deserves some credit for the vaccine. In a March 10 article, The Times reported that Biden’s administration “expanded and bulked up a vaccine production effort whose key elements were in place when Mr. Biden took over for President Donald J. Trump.”
In other words, the Trump administration put in the hard work of laying the foundation for vaccine distribution, and Biden then capitalized on that success. Instead of admitting that, Biden wants to take all the credit for himself.
In addition, a lot of Biden’s success in ramping up vaccine distribution is due to the manufacturers becoming more comfortable in producing more vaccines over time, which would have happened with or without Biden.
“Mr. Biden benefited hugely from the waves of vaccine production that the Trump administration had set in motion,” The Times reported.
“As both Pfizer and Moderna found their manufacturing footing, they were able to double and triple the outputs from their factories.”
When Biden took office, vaccine distribution was already on a massive upward trend. As FactCheck.org reported, Biden’s goal of deliveing 100 million doses was hardly aggressive.
“On the day Biden was inaugurated, the U.S. administered nearly 1.5 million shots, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID Data Tracker,” FactCheck.org reported.
“On that day, the seven-day average for the previous week was about 966,000 shots a day. In other words, the U.S. was already virtually at the pace Biden set as his goal before he took any action as president.”
Given that Biden’s initial goal was to literally remain at the same pace for vaccine distribution, it is not surprising that the country surpassed it. After all, the trajectory was already trending upwards, meaning that 100 million shots in 100 days would probably require a backward movement.
While it is impossible to say for sure, it’s likely that the approximately 220 million shots administered in Biden’s first 100 days is not far off from the number that Trump would have achieved with his trajectory.
Even if the Biden administration has greatly ramped up distribution, which is questionable in and of itself, that still would not have been possible without the groundwork laid by Trump’s team.
Despite this fact, Biden continually blamed Trump for the pandemic before and after he took office. Biden’s list of accomplishments regarding vaccine distribution on Wednesday contained no mention or statement of thanks to the Trump administration.
Obviously, Biden had a lot on his mind trying to deliver the speech. He probably just forgot the three critical words that should have characterized his vaccine discussion.
Thank you, Trump.
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