Monday, July 26, 2021

The "Trump Vaccine"

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, press secretary to President Donald Trump and now GOP candidate for governor of Arkansas, has written an op-ed explaining why she decided to get vaccinated against Covid-19. Expert opinion and the experience of millions of other Americans be damned, she took the shot(s) on the advice of her doctor. And she argued

When the Trump administration initiated Operation Warp Speed in May 2020, the president stated that a vaccine would become available by December of that year at the very latest. From the moment he made his announcement, the "expert" class tried to undermine those statements with baseless fear-mongering.

The New York Times ran an opinion piece claiming that whatever the Trump administration released would likely be a dangerous political stunt. CNN did the same. But no one did more to undercut public confidence in the vaccine than Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Biden doubted that the vaccine would be "real," while Harris said in a nationally-televised debate that she would not take any vaccine the Trump administration had a hand in creating.

Sanders has conveniently forgotten that in early October of 2020 Trump asserted

 “no president’s ever pushed” the Food and Drug Administration like he has as concerns mount that the administration is pressuring the agency to quickly authorize a vaccine for the coronavirus.

The FDA on Tuesday published new guidance for vaccine manufacturers that said they need to provide at least two months of follow-up safety data after vaccinating trial participants to apply for emergency use authorization. That makes the authorization of a vaccine before the Nov. 3 presidential election highly unlikely.

“We’re going to have a great vaccine very, very shortly. I think we should have it before the election, but frankly the politics gets involved and that’s OK. They want to play their games,” Trump said in a video posted on Twitter. “The FDA has acted as quickly as they’ve ever acted in history. ... No president’s ever pushed them like I’ve pushed them either, to be honest with you.”

Trump wanted to make the vaccine available before the election. If he couldn't he could at least make voters believe that if they stuck with him, it would be here very shortly.

In her piece, Huckabee Sanders twice referred to the "Trump vaccine" and once to the "Trump vaccine plan." That's three times more than the ever-modest Trump has referred to a "Trump vaccine."

That's not by accident.  It has been widely reported that nationally the vast majority of individuals who have chosen to avoid the vaccine are Trump supporters. Sanders claims

If President Biden, Vice President Harris, and others on the left truly care about increasing the vaccination rate and saving lives, they should admit they were wrong to cast doubt on Operation Warp Speed and give President Trump and his team the credit they are due for the development of a safe and effective vaccine in record time.

But of course, that's ridiculous. It's widely speculated that many people refusing the vaccine are doing so precisely because Democrats- especially the incumbent President- are vigorously encouraging them to do otherwise. If Biden, Harris, and "others on the left" gave more credit to Trump for Operation Warp Speed, they actually might sow doubt in the latter's supporters that the former President is responsible for development of the vaccine.

There is no reason Biden, Harris et al. should bend over backwards to give Donald Trump credit for something he himself doesn't want to take credit for.  Moreover, Trump's actions over the past eighteen months and statements over the course of his adult life suggest the most likely reason he doesn't want to be closely associated with the vaccine. If he boasted in it, a lot of his supporters currently resistant probably would change their mind and get the vaccine.

Additional people would be saved from contracting Covid-19 and its variant. Fewer people would be hospitalized and fewer would die. That would undermine President Trump's objective of culling the herd. Can't let that happen.


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