MSNBC anchor Nicole Wallace claimed Wednesday former President Donald Trump’s “Operation Warp Speed didn’t do anything to get a needle into the arm [of the American people].” Similarly, CNN’s Gloria Berger claimed “everybody understands that Operation Warp Speed happened under Joe Biden.” These statements are both false.
She did in fact say it. pic.twitter.com/eaPsRC97qD
— James Hewitt (@JamesOHewitt) April 29, 2021
Over on CNN, Gloria Borger claims "everybody understands that Operation Warp Speed happened under Joe Biden."
No one issues a correction. pic.twitter.com/cHBvTde32w
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) April 29, 2021
While corporate media loves to hail President Joe Biden as responsible for the increasing vaccination of the American people, Trump announced Operation Warp Speed as an initiative for public-private vaccine development in May 2020. At the time of his announcement, it aimed to “to have substantial quantities of a safe and effective vaccine available for Americans by January 2021.” As of today, 331 million doses have been distributed.
Biden took credit for the vaccine pace and development in March, completely ignoring Trump’s pre-existing initiative with private biomedical groups to distribute the vaccine to the public. On the day of Biden’s inauguration, 1.5 million shots had already been administered, as cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As Factcheck.org noted in February, Biden’s prior claim that the Trump administration “failed to order enough vaccines” is false. The White House had previously put options in place for Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines and contracted for additional doses subject to the approval of the Food and Drug Administration.
By Jan. 28, the Trump administration had said in a report that ” …there are at least one billion vaccine doses under contract as of January 2021″ and “[m]oreover, the government may acquire additional doses through the exercise of options or execution of new agreements.”
In other words, prior to Biden assuming office, the White House was already preparing to deliver vaccine doses on top of its previous caps. Pfizer and Moderna both agreed to provide 400 million doses before Biden was inaugurated.
On the day Biden became president, vaccinations hit a record high. Biden claimed in January he was implementing a “wartime effort” to get 100 million people vaccinated in his first 100 days, but Trump had already accomplished that. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines were developed under Trump in record time thanks to a partnership with the private sector. Both have an efficacy rate near 94 percent.
The White House used the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense to coordinate with private companies. Even prior to the Food and Drug Administration approving the vaccines under an emergency procedure, Trump made the decision to purchase hundreds of millions of doses. The former president did this under the Defense Production Act. Last April, Trump also used the act to accelerate the production of N95 masks and ventilators.
Still, talking heads in corporate media perpetuate lies in regard to vaccine rollout, all to deny Trump credit.