As the nation marked one year since COVID-19 officially was declared a pandemic, former President Donald Trump said he hopes everyone “remembers” where the vaccines fighting the virus came from.
"I hope everyone remembers when they're getting the COVID-19 [often referred to as the China Virus] Vaccine, that if I wasn’t President, you wouldn’t be getting that beautiful 'shot' for 5 years, at best, and probably wouldn't be getting it at all. I hope everyone remembers!" Trump said in his single-sentence statement bearing the "Office of the Former President" logo.
Trump's statement Wednesday came hours after President Joe Biden announced his administration planned to order another 100 million doses of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine to further push the nation's efforts to get shots into Americans' arms.
Trump, meanwhile, set into action the production, testing, and approval for vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, and emergency use approval through the massive Operation Warp Speed initiative.
The New York Times pointed out Thursday that a close look at the vaccine ramp up offers a mixed picture of the successes Biden is touting through statements such as one he made Wednesday, when he said during a White House appearance that last weekend, "we hit a record of 2.9 vaccinations in one day in America," a figure that has since been disputed.
"The new administration expanded and bulked up a vaccine production effort whose key elements were in place when Mr. Biden took over for President Donald J. Trump," the New York Times pointed out.
Former Trump aides have accused Biden of using Trump's achievements to proclaim history while using the previous administration's playbook.
Trump's announcement was released after Biden met with chief executives from Johnson & Johnson, and Merck & Co., after the rivaling companies agreed to join forces to produce the vaccine.
"You know what’s clear is this is a historic, nearly unprecedented, collaboration, ” said Biden, also commenting that 60% of people 65 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, up from 8% of Americans seven weeks ago.
"During World War II, one of the country’s slogans was 'We are all in this together' ... we’re seeing the same type of collaboration when it comes to getting this virus under control."
Biden also commented he has not hesitated to use his power under the Defense Production Act to expedite critical materials in vaccine production and as a result, "we're now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every American adult by the end of May, months earlier than anyone expected."
The White House has also come under fire after Press Secretary Jen Psaki last week refused to give Trump and his administration credit for expediting the vaccine development, and commented that she didn't "think anyone deserves credit when half a million people in the country have died from this pandemic."
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