Currently, nearly 40% of the U.S. has been fully vaccinated, a fairly impressive feat considering where we were just a few months ago. And though he’s had absolutely nothing to do with the robust vaccination distribution plan that’s inching our country closer to some semblance of normalcy, former President Donald Trump would really like some credit for it.
No really, he’s begging for it.
Trump, who’s been banned from Twitter and pretty much every other social media platform, sent his latest missive to his followers via a press release — an art form he’s doing his damndest to bring back. The statement, which read like a long and rambling tweet, mostly consisted of Trump complaining that the Biden administration is getting credit for his hard work:
“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 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?”
There’s so much wrong with this claim it’s hard to know where to begin but just to quickly recap, Trump’s Operation Warp Speed didn’t actually “create” vaccines, it just allocated funding to speed up the process of trials and approval. It did greatly contribute to Moderna’s two-dose vaccine, but Pfizer’s shot was entirely funded by the company itself. And research into the technology of these new mRNA targeting vaccines has been a decades-long process.
Still, Trump is pretty put out that Biden and his team haven’t even acknowledged his work in bringing these vaccines to the public, saying later in his statement: “Just a mention, please! The Biden Administration had zero to do with it.”
There are some definite factual inaccuracies with his claim. Trump’s Operation Warp Speed certainly sped up the vaccine approval process but as has been widely reported, when Biden took office, there was zero infrastructure to support a nationwide vaccine roll-out. The Biden administration basically had to start from scratch, and it’s only in recent weeks that they’ve been able to make meaningful progress, despite these vaccines being approved late last year.
So really, Trump is every guy you’ve had to do a group project with at school who comes up with the initial idea but then checks out for weeks and is angry when his name isn’t on the final term paper.