In a move that likely came as a surprise to those on both sides of the political aisle, President Joe Biden finally broke down Wednesday and gave credit to his predecessor in the White House for spearheading the development of vaccines to fight against COVID-19, the Washington Examiner reported.
But despite the apparent show of magnanimity, Biden couldn’t seem to help but exaggerate his own administration’s role in the effort to get shots in the arms of Americans.
“Not a partisan act”
According to the Examiner, Biden was speaking at the White House on Wednesday when he insisted that getting vaccinated for COVID-19 “is not a partisan act.”
Apparently addressing concerns among conservatives about the safety of the coronavirus vaccines, Biden noted that “the first vaccines were authorized under a Republican president.”
“The science was done under Republican and Democratic administrations,” Biden added before bragging that the shots were “developed by a Democratic president.” He quickly corrected himself: “Deployed by a Democratic president,” Biden clarified of the shots.
“This gives us great hope”
As the Examiner noted, all three vaccines for the coronavirus that are currently authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use were developed under a Trump administration initiative known as Operation Warp Speed. In fact, Biden was himself vaccinated under Trump’s presidency, and he even offered praise for the shots when he got his first dose back in December.
“I’m doing this to demonstrate that people should be prepared, when it’s available, to take the vaccine,” the then-president-elect said at the time, according to NBC News. “There’s nothing to worry about. I’m looking forward to the second shot.”
He went on to say he believed the Trump administration “deserves some credit getting this off the ground with Operation Warp Speed,” as NBC reported. “This gives us great hope,” the now-president added.
“The biggest thing”
Of course, Biden hasn’t always been so willing to heap praise on his predecessor over his handling of the early months of the coronavirus pandemic. Biden even went so far as to tell CNN host Anderson Cooper during a town hall event in February that no vaccine against the disease existed prior to his inauguration.
“The biggest thing is, when you and I talked last, we talked about…it’s one thing to have the vaccine — which we didn’t have when we came into office — but a vaccinator. How do you get the vaccine into someone’s arm?” he claimed, according to Newsweek.
Newsweek noted: “On the surface, the implication that Biden had taken over from an administration that did not have a COVID vaccine at its disposal was indeed false.” In fact, as many as 10.6 million Americans had already received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine by the time Biden was sworn in, Newsweek said, citing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data.
It’s nice to see Biden seems to have finally come around and faced the facts on this one.