Biden Credits Trump for Operation Warp Speed
In a change from the usual contentious tone against President Donald Trump, President-elect Joe Biden credits Trump and his administration for a successful rollout of vaccines under Operation Warp Speed. Earlier during the pandemic, Biden and other Democrats expressed concern about Donald Trump’s role in vaccine development. Also, he told Americans “there's nothing to worry about” after getting the shot.
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Biden received his first dose on Monday in Wilmington, Delaware. He received the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at ChristianaCare Hospital. Administered by Tabe Masa, head of employee health services at the hospital, Biden received the shot in his left arm and did not visibly react.
Afterward, he said fellow Americans had nothing to fear in receiving the vaccine. “I'm doing this to demonstrate that people should be prepared, when it's available, to take the vaccine,” Biden said. “There's nothing to worry about. I'm looking forward to the second shot.”
Credit for Operation Warp Speed
Biden took the opportunity to give credit to President Donald Trump. He thanked the Trump administration's efforts in arranging for Covid-19 vaccines for Americans. “I think the administration deserves some credit getting this off the ground with Operation Warp Speed,” Biden said. “This gives us great hope,” he added.
Through Operation Warp Speed, the US managed to acquire millions of doses from companies while vaccines are still in the developmental stage. This includes 100 million doses from frontrunners Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Hence, the country began accepting vaccine deliveries less than a week after receiving FDA emergency approval. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines received an endorsement from the agency and an independent panel. Given the urgency for coronavirus vaccines, the FDA awarded an emergency use authorization.
Lawmakers Among the First
Despite limited supplies, prominent lawmakers received some of the initial batches of vaccines. They received doses just days after the first shipments arrived at health care facilities across the United States. Front-line workers and nursing home residents were among the targeted first in line for the vaccines.
Meanwhile, Biden's wife, Dr. Jill Biden received her first dose earlier Monday. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, expect their inoculation next week. Also, Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca), and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky), all received their first shots last Friday.
Trump To Wait Before Getting Vaccine
President Trump, who contracted Covid-19 earlier in October, received treatment with experimental monoclonal antibodies. He has yet to commit to receiving a vaccine. However, he did say that he looks forward to getting the vaccine “at the appropriate time.” A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory board advised people who received that treatment should wait at least 90 days. This prevents any potential interference to the vaccine’s effect. Biran Morgenstern, White House spokesperson, said that “When the time is right, I’m sure he will remain willing to take it. It’s just something we’re working through.”
‘A Different Explanation’
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany offered a different explanation. She told reporters last week that Trump refused vaccines “to show Americans that our priority is the most vulnerable.” McEnany added that the “The President wants to send a parallel message, which is, you know, our long-term care facility residents and our frontline workers are paramount in importance, and he wants to set an example in that regard.”
Watch the CNBC News covering President-elect Joe Biden as he receives his first coronavirus shot:
Especially since Biden credits Trump with the immediate availability of vaccines in America, do you think he deserves to get the vaccine immediately? Or did he present statesmanship by deferring to those who need the vaccine the most? Let us know what you think on this matter. Share with us your thoughts by writing them down in the comment section below.