By Brian Trusdell | Thursday, 04 March 2021
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki steadfastly refused to give the Trump administration any credit for expediting the development of a vaccine for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 on Thursday, instead suggesting that the death toll was the fault of the previous administration.
”I don’t think anyone deserves credit when half a million people in the country have died from this pandemic,” Psaki said during the White House daily briefing.
Her response came following a question from a reporter seeking a reaction to a comment by former Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Dr. Brett Giroir, who posted to Twitter in February that he was exasperated by the Biden’s administration characterization of the vaccine program.
”I am so tired of the continuing lies that @potus inherited a #COVID19 Vaccine mess, when in fact 99% of current vaccine manufacturing and distribution is EXACTLY as planned and explicitly described by Trump Administration’s Operation Warp Speed,” Giroir wrote.
Operation Warp Speed was the Trump administration’s program that used $10 billion of the CARES Act, the first round of COVID-19 stimulus/relief package that provided support to pharmaceutical firms for research, development and accelerated production of a safe and effective vaccine for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It helped reduce the normal vaccine development time from 10-15 years to less than one year.
Psaki’s comment also followed her Twitter post on Jan. 15, five days before Joe Biden’s inauguration, that the incoming administration was changing the name of Operation Warp Speed, referring only to it as OWS.
”OWS is the Trump team’s name for their program. We are phasing in a new structure, which will have a different name than OWS. Many of the public servants will be essential to our response, but urgent need to address failures of the Trump team approach to vaccine distribution,” she wrote.