NYT Op-Ed Blames Trump for Low U.S. Vax Rate—But Trump Is Pro-Vax

Though Trump’s Operation Warp Speed rapidly increased Covid-19 vaccination distribution, The New York Times ran an opinion piece claiming Americans are “turning away a vaccine” because they’re “slavishly devoted to Trump.”

  • The New York Times (NYT) ran an opinion piece titled “Anti-Vax Insanity.”
  • The author blames “Donald Trump’s scorched earth political strategy” for having “fooled millions of Americans into flirting with death.”
  • He laments the fact that “The public had been poisoned by partisanship,” that masking and social distancing became “a political statement,” and that “Receiving the vaccine, for far too many, was a political statement.”
  • The author says the following should have happened: “We should all have been celebrating in the streets and running to a lifesaving serum with our sleeves rolled up and a smile on our face.”
  • Every eligible American, according to the NYT author, should have “simply chosen to be vaccinated.”
  • “But they didn’t. They haven’t. They are too dug in, too committed to the lies and conspiracies, too devoted to rebellion,” he says.
  • “The vaccine is safe, incredibly safe” and “There are no microchips or magnets in it. It does not cause Covid and it is not more dangerous than Covid.”
  • The author claims that Americans are turning away the vaccine “because of their fidelity to the lie and their fidelity to the liar (Trump),” to whom these Americans are “slavishly devoted.”
  • But also “because many politicians and conservative commentators helped Trump propagate his lies.”
  • President Donald Trump’s administration announced the installation of Operation Warp Speed (OWS)—which accelerated the development, manufacturing, and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines—on May 15, 2020.
  • The Hill explains OWS “called for clinical trials, manufacturing, and logistics to be conducted on a parallel rather than a sequential basis. The pursuit of multiple vaccine types built redundancy into the program to insure as many approved vaccine types as possible.”
  • Ten months later, “On Dec. 11, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for emergency use authorization (EUA) a vaccine produced by Pfizer” for “the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in individuals 16 years of age and older.”
  • “Approval of Moderna’s vaccine followed seven days later,” notes The Hill.
  • And “The first Americans were vaccinated on Dec. 15, 2020, only four days after FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine.”
  • The OWS goal of 300 million was “met much sooner than would have been conceived as the program was launched.”
  • Although “OWS was launched to almost universal skepticism and even scorn”—namely expressed in “the June 6, 2020 issue of the medical journal Lancet opined that “on average, it takes 10 years to develop a vaccine”—, it nevertheless signified “a rare private-public partnership that has met its performance benchmarks,” according to The Hill.
  • President Trump recently told Fox News’ Dan Bongino “The vaccines turn out to be a tremendous thing.”
  • He called his work spearheading OWS “something I’m very proud of.”
  • “I think if we didn’t come up during the Trump administration with the vaccine, you could have 100 million people dead just like you had in 1917,” Trump said.
  • “And in our country, you know in a sense, in a true sense, we saved our country with the vaccine,” he also said.
  • “I think this — I have to be a big vaccine fan, because I’m the one that got it done so quickly. Got it done in less than nine months; it was supposed to take five years. They would have never even gotten it done. So, I’m a big fan,” Trump went on to say.
  • While Trump said he’s “a big fan of our freedoms, and people have to make that choice for themselves,” he nevertheless added, “I would recommend that they get [the vaccine], and they get it done, and they’re being protected. And the vaccines turned out to be a tremendous thing… .”
  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Anthony Fauci recently credited President Trump’s “wise investment” in the COVID vaccine.
  • Dr. Fauci explained that while vaccines “typically need to go through multiple lengthy phases to be approved, Trump’s Operation Warp Speed initiative significantly helped to accelerate the process.”
  • “Because of the wise investment in Operation Warp Speed—and we give credit to the Trump administration for doing this, particularly Secretary Alex Azar, who was an important component of that—what you did was make an investment to prepare for phase two and phase three, even before you knew that phase one worked or not, and to start manufacturing,” Fauci said.
  • “When you do that, you make a major investment in resources,” he continued. “If the vaccine doesn’t work, you’ve lost a lot of money; if the vaccine does work, you save a lot of time. And that’s exactly what happened.”

Jon Fleetwood is Managing Editor for American Faith.