President Joe Biden claimed credit Thursday for the speedy manufacturing and distribution of a coronavirus vaccine ordered by then-President Donald Trump.
During a prime time address, Biden said, “Two months ago, this country didn’t have nearly enough vaccine supply to vaccinate all or ever near all of the American people, public.”
On January 11, Trump was still president. The Washington Post reported in July 2020 the pharmaceutical companies were already working at “record-breaking speed” to produce a vaccine.
In December, the federal Department of Health and Human Services announced it had agreed to purchase 100 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine from Pfizer.
The government ordered a first round of 100 million doses earlier that month. The second agreement allowed the government to secure an additional 400 million doses from the company.
Biden said “soon” a vaccine dose will be available for all Americans, as the government has been working with the companies to produce enough treatments.
The president went on to take credit for the progress.
“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,” Biden said.
“That’s months ahead of schedule,” he said.
Moments later, Biden said, “When I took office 50 days ago, only 8 percent of Americans after months, only 8 percent of those over the age of 65 have gotten their first vaccination. Today, that number is 65 percent.”
CNN reported in April 2020 that the “timetable for a coronavirus vaccine is 18 months.”
“Tony Fauci is saying a year to 18 months — I think that’s optimistic,” Dr. Peter Hotez told the network. “Maybe if all the stars align, but probably longer.”
“When Dr. Fauci said 12 to 18 months, I thought that was ridiculously optimistic,” Dr. Paul Offit said to CNN. “And I’m sure he did, too.”
Biden said Thursday vaccinated grandparents are now able to hug their grandchildren, a practice disallowed by governors of lockdown states.
The president reiterated his goal of administering one million coronavirus shots per day, or 100 million in his first 100 days.
“Tonight, I can say we’re not only going to meet that goal, we’re going to beat that goal,” Biden said.
When Trump left office in mid-January, 983,000 doses were being given daily, according to Bloomberg.