Vice President Kamala Harris blatantly lied to Axios in an interview published this week, claiming the new administration was forced to start “from scratch” with vaccine distribution. National Institutes of Health Director Anthony Fauci rejected that assertion last month when White House staff peddled the same lie.
“We’re starting from scratch,” Harris told Axios.
“We’re certainly not starting from scratch,” Fauci said in January.
Indeed, the Biden administration started far ahead of “scratch.”
Operation Warp Speed, the project President Donald Trump launched to accelerate vaccine development and distribution, put the Biden White House on pace to reach its initial goal of 100 million vaccine shots administered in its first 100 days. While Biden, after being called out, upped the goal to 150 million vaccine doses in 100 days, the pace of 1 million shots per day remains Trump’s accomplishment. In fact, on the day after Biden was inaugurated, 1.3 million Americans were inoculated, according to Bloomberg News.
PolitiFact has remained silent on Harris peddling the blatant falsehood, however, with corporate media’s purported premier fact-checking organization not listing a single fact-check for the vice president since September, more than a month before the November election.
PolitiFact editor-in-chief Angie Holan told The Federalist the group’s absence of a fact-check of Harris’s false statements this week stems from the organization already having fact-checked the overall claim in January when it was made by White House chief of staff Ron Klain.
The group rated Klain’s comment, that the “process to distribute the vaccine, particularly outside of nursing homes and hospitals out into the community as a whole, did not really exist when we came into the White House,” as “mostly false.” No fact-check to Harris repeating the same assertion appears in the pipeline at PolitiFact as the Biden White House continues to lie about the level of pandemic preparedness inherited by its predecessor.
When asked whether it was PolitiFact’s position that Harris has not said anything remotely false since before the election, Holan told The Federalist the group was not very interested in fact-checking the vice president.
“We’ve always been more interested in fact-checking the president than the vice president,” Holan wrote in an email. “That was true for the past two administrations as well.”
No fact-check has yet been issued, however, for President Biden’s false claim, made during CNN’s town hall with Anderson Cooper on Tuesday, that no coronavirus vaccine even existed before he came into office.
“It’s one thing to have the vaccine — which we didn’t have when we came into office,” Biden said.
Biden says there was no vaccine when he came into office.
That is abjectly FALSE. President Trump brought about the fastest vaccine for a novel pathogen in history.
How does Joe get away with this? pic.twitter.com/OcFeVbQ3At
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) February 17, 2021
Biden himself received the second shot of the coronavirus vaccine produced by Pfizer on Jan. 11, before he took over the White House.
At the time this article was originally published the afternoon of Feb. 17, the latest PolitiFact fact-check of Biden was dated the week prior, on Feb. 10.
On Friday morning, PolitiFact demanded The Federalist issue a correction to this story stating the group issued three fact-checks to President Joe Biden on the 16th.
The link above, however, which remains unchanged, shows PolitiFact published three fact-checks after this story was published, of statements made on Feb. 16, including Biden’s remarks on vaccines. Contrary to Holan’s assertion, these fact-checks were published on Feb. 17 and 18, after this article.
This article was updated Feb. 19 to include the follow-up email from PolitiFact.