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
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
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.
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
“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
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.
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.
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.