For months, journalists, so-called experts, and verified Twitter users cast doubt on President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed and its efforts to push and facilitate the creation, production, and distribution of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, calling it “preposterous” and “impossible.”
While Trump and Vice President Mike Pence remained hopeful and positive that a vaccine would be created in record time, many in the media and on the left issued premature “fact-checks” on the president and his administration from the beginning, cynically predicting that a successful vaccine was not in the near future and amplifying the calls of “experts” who agreed with their assessments.
Headlines from mainstream publications cast doubt on the vaccine timeline and amplified Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ skepticism of a vaccine manufactured under the Trump administration.
“Biden, Seizing on Worries of a Rushed Vaccine, Warns Trump Can’t Be Trusted,” the New York Times wrote.
“Trump Vaccine Chief Casts Doubt on Coronavirus Vaccine by Election Day,” was another NYT headline.
“Trump promises coronavirus vaccine by end of the year, but his own experts temper expectations,” said an ABC News headline in May.
“HHS whistleblower says coronavirus vaccine won’t be ready in 18 months: ‘We’ve never seen everything go perfectly’,” another May CNBC headline reads.
“Vaccines for Millions Ready This Year: The Impossible Dream?” speculated Bloomberg that same month.
“Contradicting The CDC, Trump Says COVID-19 Vaccine Could Be Ready By End Of Year,” NPR published.
CNN, in particular, harped on this narrative. Anchor Wolf Blitzer discounted the president’s predicted timeline, saying it “would be much sooner than the 12 to 18-month timeline cited by so many experts.” Shortly after, CNN reporter Jim Acosta said that “many health experts aren’t so sure it’s achievable.”
CNN’s Chris Cuomo mocked vaccine hopefuls with Acosta saying, “so if we say they can’t really get this vaccine, the science is questionable, now we’re the Negative Nancys? Oh, look at that Acosta, always trying to kill our optimism!”
Even Dr. Anthony Fauci called into question Trump’s prediction, claiming that, even if a vaccine was produced quickly, “there’s no guarantee that the vaccine is actually going to be effective.”
One of former Vice President Joe Biden’s advisors, Dr. Michael Osterholm, wrote in March that he did not expect vaccine production and distribution to “occur quickly.”
— 11th Hour (@11thHour) May 16, 2020
The Experts™ were wrong yet again pic.twitter.com/k4bWp1Zjh0
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) December 14, 2020
Journalists questioned the vaccine’s predicted timeline on their Twitter feeds, indicating they believed Trump was lying.
“Trump is now promising that the coronavirus vaccine will be available in a couple of weeks,’ which is the surest indication yet that we’re not close,” one Vox reporter said.
Trump is now promising that the coronavirus vaccine will be available in "a couple of weeks," which is the surest indication yet that we're not close pic.twitter.com/mGftl9bddx
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 2, 2020
“A vaccine by the end of the year is a pipe dream,” Russia collusion hoaxer Seth Abramson wrote in May.
As I've written before—heeding Dr. Bright and many other experts—a vaccine by the end of the year is a pipe dream. It normally takes a decade. It can be done faster under these extraordinary circumstances, but *full* non-emergency deployment? 2021 or 2022. https://t.co/qUyyIuc4Xk
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) May 23, 2020
I didn't know USA Today still existed, but here's one of their columnists in May sneering about a vaccine coming this year: https://t.co/UOhmJkWHhe
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) December 14, 2020
Go ahead and flag this tweet for when we do not have that vaccine by the end of the year https://t.co/DX1bMrHMKF
— Jessica Huseman (@JessicaHuseman) May 14, 2020
Despite their predisposed opinions about Trump and COVID-19 mitigation, the first round of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was administered in the United States on Monday to healthcare workers in New York, following the Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use and mass distribution approval on Thursday.
First Vaccine Administered. Congratulations USA! Congratulations WORLD!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 14, 2020
Even with the media’s attempt to mislead Americans to believe that the government should get no credit for the vaccine successes, the 95 percent effective vaccine from Pfizer was created and manufactured with incentives from the Trump Administration’s efforts through Operation Warp Speed in record time.