Team Biden has a persistent lying problem when it comes to the Trump administration’s supposedly terrible record on vaccines. You could see it again in a March 11 primetime NBC News coronavirus special, One Year Later: Life Under Lockdown.
On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, anchorman Lester Holt suggested to White House chief of staff Ron Klain that the Biden team now “owned” the pandemic response and asked “what’s taken so long” on the vaccines.
Klain automatically blamed Trump: “We inherited a vaccine system that was moving at a snail’s pace and we’ve had to accelerate. We’ve had to go buy hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine that hadn’t been ordered.” Holt didn’t challenge that.
Klain said something similar on Meet the Press days after the inauguration: “But the process to distribute the vaccine, particularly outside of nursing homes and hospitals out into the community as a whole did not really exist when we came into the White House.”
This was an echo of Joe Biden at a Pfizer manufacturing site: “Just over four weeks ago, America had no real plan to vaccinate most of the country,” Biden said, going on to say Trump “failed to order enough vaccines, failed to mobilize the effort to administer the shots, failed to set up vaccine centers.”
Or an echo of Kamala Harris on HBO: “There was no stockpile!…. There was no national strategy or plan for vaccinations. We were leaving it to the states and local leaders to try and figure it out. And so in many ways, we are starting from scratch on something that’s been raging for almost an entire year.”
Perhaps because they were energetic in checking Trump boasts on coronavirus, the “fact checking” sites have been calling out the Bidenite baloney that Trump did next to nothing. On March 12, Twitter created a thread under the somewhat misleading headline “There was a vaccination distribution plan under Trump but it has been widely expanded by Biden, according to PolitiFact, Newsweek and FactCheck.org.”
This didn’t accurately summarize the Biden-correcting tweets they assembled underneath.
Were vaccines “moving at a snail’s pace”? On January 15, the week before Biden was sworn in, 10.6 million Americans had received a COVID vaccine under Trump, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Did they fail to order enough vaccines? The federal government, as of last December 31, had contracted to buy at least 800 million COVID-19 vaccine doses with delivery by July 31.
Was there “no real plan” for vaccine distribution? Last September 16, the Department of Health and Human Services released a report to Congress, outlining a strategy for vaccine distribution and a playbook for states and localities “on how to plan and operationalize a vaccination response.”
The Trump administration encouraged a flexible and federalist approach to coronavirus restrictions, and also to coronavirus vaccines. Leftists would say letting states control anything instead of the federal government equals “no national strategy.”
The Democrats and the media have decried Trump for “politicizing” the pandemic, which is a bad joke, since they were clearly politicizing it soon after their first impeachment attempt fizzled. Trump called their political exploitation a “hoax,” and then they claimed he called the virus a “hoax.” Even today, Team Biden is relentlessly slamming Trump as the scapegoat for everything that’s ever gone wrong. It’s nice that the “fact checkers” can stay on this subject, even if the “objective” networks can’t.
PS: When I saw Holt doing a show at the Lincoln Memorial, I remembered when Donald Trump did a Fox News town hall there last May, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell complained about the venue. Kyle Drennen reported it. “To a lot of people, that’s hallowed ground. And to see a cable news program, a virtual town hall, with the President and, you know, correspondents questioning him, anchors questioning him at the feet of Abraham Lincoln!…what about all of the National Park and other security people who had to be out there, out during a pandemic, in a shutdown!”
The ethics of broadcasting from the monuments is just as situational and partisan as everything else in the “mainstream media” business.