President Joe Biden has been clear in his efforts to downplay his predecessor’s achievements in a variety of areas, including his response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the director of the National Institutes of Health, however, former President Donald Trump deserves gratitude for his administration’s oversight of vaccine development.
“Many of us were not initially convinced”
For his part, Biden has gone so far as to falsely claim that no vaccine existed prior to him taking office — despite the fact that he received his first shot prior to Inauguration Day.
Dr. Francis Collins, on the other hand, had warm words for the 45th president for the initiation of what was dubbed Operation Warp Speed.
The NIH director gave “a great deal of credit” to former Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar for his leadership during that period.
As Collins said in a recent statement, the operation represented “an effort that many of us were not initially convinced was going to be necessary.”
Taking his praise even further, he compared Operation Warp Speed to the Manhattan Project, a U.S.-led effort during World War II that led to the development of the atomic bomb.
“An incredibly important step forward”
Collins’ statement also recognized the input of Dr. Moncef Slaoui, calling his recruitment into the operation “an incredibly important step forward that the administration deserves credit for because that did motivate a lot of actions, a lot of coordination.”
His assessment echoes prior praise by Azar and Trump during a White House event in June.
As Azar said at the time, Slaoui was “arguably the world’s most experienced and successful vaccine developer. For his part, Trump called the doctor “one of the most respected men in the world in the production and, really, on the formulation of vaccines.”
Nevertheless, Collins’ willingness to praise the prior administration stands in stark contrast to the characterizations of Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
In addition to the president’s claims that “we didn’t have” a vaccine prior to the end of prior administration Harris earlier alleged that there was no “national strategy or plan for vaccinations” under Trump and that the Biden White House was effectively “starting from scratch.”