Often a critic, Biden praises Trump twice for COVID-19 vaccine speed and boosters

"Let me be clear. Thanks to the prior administration and our scientific community, America is one of the first countries to get the vaccine," Biden said, without naming Trump.
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President Trump, Democratic challenger Joe Biden at respective Oct. 15, 2020 town halls
(Getty Images)

President Joe Biden offered rare praise for former President Donald Trump not once, but twice in his remarks Tuesday on COVID-19 response efforts. 

He first thanked the Trump administration for the speed of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout after previously denying former President Donald Trump credit on numerous occasions.

"Let me be clear. Thanks to the prior administration and our scientific community, America is one of the first countries to get the vaccine," Biden said, without naming Trump.

Biden later mentioned Trump by name, singling out the 45th president for receiving the COVID-19 booster shot. 

"It may be one of the few things he and I agree on. People with booster shots are highly protected. Join them, join us," Biden said.

Operation Warp Speed began under Trump in May 2020 as a public-private partnership to roll out COVID-19 vaccines in record time. 

Before taking office, Biden questioned if a vaccine approved under Trump would be safe. Vice President Kamala Harris made similar comments against the vaccine at the time.

Shortly after Biden's inauguration, the White House falsely claimed that Trump did not leave a vaccine distribution plan.

Biden falsely said in March that the Trump administration had "contracted not nearly enough vaccine to cover adults in America. We rectified that."

Former President Trump told Fox News Tuesday evening that he is "very appreciative" and "surprised" Biden thanked him. 

"It’s a matter of getting people out to, ideally, get the vaccine," the former president said. "If you have the mandate, the mandate will destroy people’s lives — it destroys people’s lives, just as the vaccine saves people."

"I think that it’s really a question of tone. It’s a question of trust," Trump stated, adding "hopefully, the people that have had COVID, hopefully, they will be given credit for that."