Former President Donald Trump is seeking credit for the swift rollout of multiple coronavirus vaccines, saying if it wasn’t for him “you wouldn’t be getting that beautiful ‘shot’ for 5 years, at best.”
“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,” the ex-president said in a statement released by his office Wednesday evening. “I hope everyone remembers!”
The statement came hours after President Biden announced his administration would order another 100 million doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine to bolster the nation’s efforts to get shots into arms.
Biden announced the new J&J doses a week after unveiling the landmark partnership between rivals J&J and Merck to produce the former’s vaccine and after vowing the U.S. would have enough first doses for every adult by the end of May.
There are now more than 62 million people in the United States have received at least vaccine dose and nearly 33 million who are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s shot tracker. That’s about 19% and 10% of the population, respectively, according to data last updated on Wednesday.
Both Pfizer and Moderna’s two-dose coronavirus vaccines were developed and authorized for emergency use while Trump was in office. Moderna received funding for design and testing under Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, while Pfizer had an advance-purchase agreement. J&J, which was authorized for use after Biden took office, also had a pre-existing federal production deal made under the Trump administration.
Trump and his wife, both of whom contracted COVID-19 last fall, reportedly received vaccines at the White House in January.