Way back on May 15, 2020, then-President Trump announced the creation of Operation Warp Speed, a public-private partnership that coordinated the Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health with pharmaceutical companies in an effort to quickly create COVID-19 vaccines. The program was at first funded with $10 billion, but that was raised to about $18 billion by October 2020.
Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, the first in the U.S., was approved Dec. 11, 2020, by the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization. A week later, the FDA also approved Moderna's emergency-use request. The Moderna vaccine was developed in conjunction with the OWS, and both emerged in record time with 95% effectiveness.
But you wouldn't know any of that if you watched President Biden's primetime address Thursday night to the nation.
"On my first full day in office, I outlined for you a comprehensive strategy to beat this pandemic," Biden said. "And we have spent every day since attempting to carry it out.
"When I took office 50 days ago, only 8 percent of Americans after months – only 8 percent of those over the age of 65 had gotten their first vaccination. Today, that number is [nearly] 65 percent. Just 14 percent of Americans over the age 75, 50 days ago, had gotten their first shot. Today, that number is well over 70 percent."
Without naming Trump, Biden also said: "A year ago, we were hit with a virus that was met with silence and spread unchecked. Denials for days, weeks, then months that led to more deaths, more infections, more stress, and more loneliness."
Fox News host Sean Hannity slammed Biden for trying to "take credit for everything that Donald Trump did on COVID-19," pointing out three vaccines were already in development by the time Biden took office.
"There were already a million vaccines being administered into people’s arms every single day when Biden was sworn in, 36 million doses had already been distributed," Hannity said. "Joe, you want unity? Why don’t you just thank Donald Trump? You want us all to get along, you say. No Trump, no vaccine, Joe. Stop trying to take credit for something, frankly, you had nothing to do with. Nothing."
Ronna McDaniel, chairman of the Republican National Committee, also ripped Biden for "not being straight with Americans," including "on vaccines." "He is claiming Operation Warp Speed never existed," she tweeted.
And Tennessee Republican Sen. Bill Hagerty tweeted: "Tonight, @POTUS Biden showed no grace or appreciation for the leadership that led to Operation Warp Speed and the development of a safe and effective vaccine."
Trump said late Wednesday that without him, Americans "probably" wouldn't have ever come up with a COVID-19 vaccine.
“I hope everyone remembers when they’re getting the COVID-19 (often referred to as the China Virus) Vaccine, that if I wasn’t President, you wouldn’t be getting that beautiful ‘shot’ for 5 years, at best, and probably wouldn’t be getting it at all,” Trump said in a statement. "I hope everyone remembers."
A majority of U.S. voters prefer to credit scientists and biomedical companies for developing the vaccine more so than any politician or political administration, according to a new Just the News Daily Poll with Scott Rasmussen.
More than half of all voters – 52% – say "the companies and scientists who developed the vaccine" deserve the most credit for the medicine's creation and rollout.
Just 17% credit the Biden administration, while nearly twice as many – 31% – point to the Trump administration.
The survey of 1,200 registered voters was conducted by Rasmussen using a mixed mode approach from Feb. 25-27.