Kayleigh, Please Stop Trying To Make The “Trump Vaccine” Happen

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images.
In the last month, there has been some very promising news about the development of coronavirus vaccines. But almost as if on cue, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany ruined it by tried to credit the success of the vaccine to President Donald Trump. During a press briefing on December 2, McEnany told reporters the “tremendous achievement” will result in as many as 40 million vaccine doses ready by the end of the year. “It’s having a businessman as president,” she said, before absolutely destroying us with: “It’s the Trump vaccine.”
While a vaccine – which will technically be distributed during the end of Trump's presidency – has finally been produced, it is by no means thanks to Donald Trump. (Reminder: the vaccine may have happened during his presidency, but so did the pandemic.) Despite that fact, which seems to have escaped GOP attention at-large, the White House continues to boast this as a Trump achievement.
On November 9, Vice President Mike Pence tweeted thanking Trump and pharmaceutical company Pfizer for working together to develop a vaccine. A couple weeks later, Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera suggested naming the vaccine “The Trump” (which, yikes). And all of this is made more ironic by the fact that on November 20, Trump accused Pfizer and Moderna – another company whose early vaccine results have shown considerable promise – of working to sabotage his reelection by delaying their vaccines.
In reality, McEnany and other cabinet members' efforts to credit Donald Trump for the vaccine are completely empty. The Trump administration’s “Operation Warp Speed” program did help accelerate vaccine development by providing funding to several drug companies; however, the most promising vaccine results so far are not from this program. One week after the election, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that early data showed their vaccine to be 95 percent effective against COVID-19. Pfizer didn’t receive any funding from Operation Warp Speed for development, clinical trials, or manufacturing. They received funding from the German government.
Trump and his supporters giving credit where it is not due isn’t new. But just because the internet expects it doesn’t mean it is tired of roasting Trump and his associates’ attempts to stake out a legacy before he leaves office.
Currently, researchers are testing 58 vaccines in clinical trials on humans and at least 87 are under active investigation in preclinical trials, according to The New York Times. Since March, 13 immunizations have reached the final stages of testing. Pfizer and Moderna have come out as frontrunners, each with early effectiveness rates of over 90 percent. Unlike Pfizer, Moderna did accept funding from Operation Warp Speed for its research and testing. Pfizer submitted a request for FDA authorization on November 20 which is expected to take several weeks to review. Moderna announced that it was applying for authorization, and if it succeeds, the first injections could be available on December 21.
The U.S. has committed to buying hundreds of millions of vaccines in advance to ensure Americans are among the first in line provided the FDA issues an approval or an emergency-use authorization. In July, the Trump administration agreed to pay almost $2 billion for 100 million doses with the option to buy as many as 500 million more.
And while McEnany may very well continue to be a mouthpiece to this circus until January 19, Trump is just going to have to find something else to try and take credit for. Stop trying to make the "Trump vaccine" happen. It's never going to happen.

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