President Donald Trump appeared to take credit for the approval of two Covid-19 vaccines that have been approved in recent weeks, commenting, as many people begin vaccinations against the virus that “Our Country, and indeed the World, will soon see the great miracle of what the Trump Administration has accomplished.”
“They said it couldn’t be done!!!” the president added.
Distribution of both vaccines is going very smoothly. Amazing how many people are being vaccinated, record numbers. Our Country, and indeed the World, will soon see the great miracle of what the Trump Administration has accomplished. They said it couldn’t be done!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2020
The Trump administration has in the past attempted to take credit for vaccine development. Last month, drugmaker Pfizer confirmed it did not work with the Trump administration to develop its coronavirus vaccine despite both President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence‘s claims that the vaccine was the result of Pfizer’s involvement in Operation Ward Speed, a public-private partnership to fast track coronavirus vaccine development. The vaccine candidate from Moderna did accept funding from the federal government.
The president’s comments come after House coronavirus subcommittee investigators found that the Trump administration attempted to block or change more than a dozen reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that provided significant detail about the virus’s spread across the United States.
Representative James Clyburn (D-S.C) said the subcommittee’s findings demonstrated that the Trump administration attempted to “cripple the nation’s coronavirus response in a misguided effort to achieve herd immunity.”
Indeed, President Trump has often downplayed the severity of the pandemic, behavior that was confirmed in audio recordings from veteran journalist Bob Woodward’s interviews with the president.
“I wanted to always play it down,” Trump told Woodward on March 19. “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.” Also in March: “Just today and yesterday, some startling facts came out. It’s not just old, older. Young people too — plenty of young people.”
At least 319,466 people have died of Covid-19 since the first case of the virus in the United States was reported.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.