Psaki praises ‘science’ when pressed on whether Trump deserves credit for COVID vaccine

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The Biden administration continues to refuse to give former President Donald Trump’s administration an iota of credit for overseeing the development and initial distribution of the coronavirus vaccine.

Even with The New York Times, a left-wing paper, giving the former administration credit in a report published Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki still refused two days later to budge even slightly.

During a White House press briefing Friday, NBC News’ Peter Alexander pointed out to her that President Joe Biden had neglected to mention the Trump administration a single time during the celebratory speech he’d delivered the night before on what was described as the “anniversary” of the coronavirus pandemic shutdowns.

“Let me ask you about the President’s speech last night. This was a speech about the anniversary of the last year since the pandemic began. Of course, he spent a lot of time touting the success of vaccines,” he said.

He added, “Yet there was no mention of the President under whose administration these vaccines were developed. Does former President Trump not deserve any credit on vaccines?

Psaki’s answer suggested she believes the answer is no.

Watch:

(Source: C-SPAN)

She replied by first crediting “science” and “medical experts” for their “Herculean, incredible effort” in creating the coronavirus vaccine.

“Well, the President himself, and many people in our administration, have conveyed that making the progress, and we’ve said this publicly, that was made on these vaccines, was a Herculean, incredible effort by science and by medical experts. And, certainly, we have applauded that in the past, and we’re happy to applaud that again,” she said.

Fair enough. But Psaki then resorted to the same oft-heard lie from the Biden administration that it’d essentially started from scratch on Inauguration Day in regard to the stockpiling and distribution of the vaccine.

But I would say there is a clear difference, and there are clear steps that have been taken, since the President took office, that have put us in a trajectory that we were not on when he was inaugurated,” she said.

And leadership starts at the top. It includes mask wearing. It includes acknowledging there’s a pandemic. It includes getting a vaccine in public,” Psaki added. “But, even more importantly than that, it includes putting in place an operational process that can ensure that we have enough vaccines to vaccinate Americans, enough vaccinators, enough vaccine locations. None of that was in place when the President took office.”

Fact-check: FALSE.

The Times itself noted in its report Wednesday that, while the Biden administration deserves credit for accelerating the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine, “key elements” of the process “were in place when Mr. Biden took over for President Donald J. Trump.”

Alexander responded by rightly noting that Operation Warp Speed “was invented, executed, initiated under the former president.”

“So in the spirit of bipartisanship and unity last night, as opposed to the first comments which spoke about the denials and the first days, weeks, and months, why don’t you say, ‘With credit to the previous administration and the former president for putting us in this position, we are glad that we have been able to move forward?'” he then asked.

But again Psaki demurred.

“That is an excellent recommendation as a speech writer, but the President has spoken to it in the past. He has applauded the work of medical experts and scientists, and the prior administration,” she claimed.

Not really. While it’s true that in December, Biden reportedly gave Trump credit for “getting the vaccine moving,” that’s a long way off from giving him credit for overseeing the complete, A-to-Z development of the vaccine and its initial distribution.

“And what the purpose of last night’s speech was, was to give an update on what his administration has been doing, what he has done since he took office, the progress that’s been made, what the work is ahead, provide a light at the end of the tunnel, and ask Americans to engage in the process, and do what’s needed to be done, so we can get to those July 4th barbecues,” Psaki added.

But “in fairness,” Alexander argued, Biden had said in his speech that he was wanting to bring all Americans together.

Psaki conceded this point but stressed that, according to her, the American people don’t care about giving credit.

“I would say that Americans are looking for facts. They’re looking for details. They’re looking for specifics. And I don’t think they’re worried too much about applause from six months ago, when the president has already delivered that publicly,” she said.

That argument would hold more weight if Biden didn’t have a tendency of lying.

“President Joe Biden wrongly claimed the U.S. vaccinated a record 2.9 million people on Saturday while his special adviser on the pandemic exaggerated the share of older Americans who’ve been fully immunized,” the Associated Press reported earlier this week.

And then during his speech Thursday, he told even more lies.

“A year ago, we were hit with a virus that was met with silence and spread unchecked. Denials for days, weeks, then months, that led to more deaths,” he said.

Fact-check: FALSE.

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Vivek Saxena

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