Dr. Anthony Fauci tried to take credit for the swift development and rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine on Sunday, claiming that fast-tracking the vaccine was the “best decision” he ever made despite previously doubting an accelerated vaccine effort.
“When I saw what happened in New York City, almost overrunning of our health care system, it was like, ‘Oh my goodness,’” the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told CNN. “And that’s when it became very clear that the decision we made on January the 10th to go all out and develop a vaccine may have been the best decision that I’ve ever made with regard to an intervention as director of the institute.”
Fauci credits himself, not Trump, for the rapid rollout of Covid vaccines: “It may have been the best decision that I’ve ever made" pic.twitter.com/CYrni6KeKA
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) March 29, 2021
Fauci’s boss National Institutes of Health director Dr. Francis Collins told Axios in February that former President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed deserves the credit for facilitating the creation of a COVID-19 vaccine in record time, but that didn’t stop Fauci from pretending that he didn’t spend the last year casting doubt on the administration’s vaccine efforts and goals.
At the beginning of the pandemic, shortly after he said Phase I vaccine trials wouldn’t begin for “three months,” Fauci claimed that “the fastest a vaccine could be ready for use on an emergency basis was one year, although the process could take up to two years.”
He doubled down on this narrative a couple of months later when he said it would take “at least a year to a year and a half to have a vaccine we can use.”
When the vaccine made its debut in the U.S. in December, Fauci reversed his narrative and began encouraging people to get the shot once it became available to them.
“We need to put to rest any concept that this was rushed in any inappropriate way. This is really solid,” Fauci said.
Despite his sudden hope for Operation Warp Speed’s vaccine rollout, Fauci continued to criticize the administration’s goals, telling NBC’s “Today” that he was “disappointed” that the U.S. did not meet the projection of “20 million doses into people today, by the end of the (year) 2020.”