Should Joe Biden Thank Donald Trump For Vaccine Rollout? Operation Warp Speed Debated

A number of conservative and Republican figures are saying that Joe Biden should be thanking Donald Trump for spurring on the development of a COVID-19 vaccine as the president announced hopes for the country to be "back to normal" by July 4.

In an address, Biden announced to the nation that all adult Americans will be eligible for the vaccine by May 1, with the goal of having a number of lockdown restrictions lifted by Independence Day.

"If we do our part, if we do this together, by July the 4th, there's a good chance you, your families and friends will be able to get together in your backyard or in your neighborhood and have a cookout and a barbecue and celebrate Independence Day," Biden said.

"That doesn't mean large events with lots of people together, but it does mean small groups will be able to get together."

Following the announcement, a number of people suggested Biden should have credited the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed for putting in the groundwork for the current vaccine rollout, as well fast-tracking three vaccines which were developed during Trump's time in office.

"Joe, you want unity? Why don't you just thank Donald Trump?" Fox News host Sean Hannity said on Thursday night.

"You want us all to get along, you say. No Trump, no vaccine, Joe. Stop trying to take credit for something, frankly, you had nothing to do with. Nothing."

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee tweeted: "Breaking wind from CNN the Cuomo News Network! Joe Biden breaks his arm patting himself on the back for building on Covid response made possible by Pres Trump & Operation Warp Speed but Biden gives Trump no credit."

Paris Dennard, Republican National Committee Senior Advisor for Black Media Affairs, added: "What Joe Biden meant to say: 'Thank you President Trump for your whole of government approach to fighting #COVID19 which led to historic public/private partnerships and Operation Warp Speed giving us the vaccine and plans to get it out to the nation.'"

The calls for Biden to credit Operation Warp Speed arrived after Trump issued a short statement that he should be praised for the current vaccine rollout.

"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. I hope everyone remembers!" Trump said.

However, others have suggested that Trump and his administration should not be praised for the vaccines and questioned the former president's role.

"As far as his bragging about vaccines goes, it's embarrassing to see the media participate in that nonsense," television writer and producer Wendy Molyneux tweeted. "The Pfizer vaccine was developed outside of Operation Warp Speed, and fast-tracking a vaccine is the LEAST any President would do. And that's what he did. The least."

Author Michael McFaul wrote: "Operation Warp Speed played an instrumental role in producing the vaccines that are now saving lives. Trump's response to the pandemic was horrific, leading to many more deaths than should have happened. Both of these sentences are true."

Biden is gaslighting on vaccines.

The facts: Operation Warp Speed developed a vaccine in record time and was meeting Biden’s distribution goal before he took office.

Meanwhile, Biden spent months during the campaign sowing doubt about the efficacy of vaccines being developed.

— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) March 12, 2021

Hey, Joe....Donald Trump is responsible for Operation Warp Speed that created those vaccines. Just sayin'. @POTUS

— Michael D. Brown (@MichaelBrownUSA) March 12, 2021

Is Biden gonna thank Trump for his work on #OperationWarpSpeed ?

This speech isn’t unity. He is pointing fingers and taking credit for things he has nothing to do with. #Biden

— Scott T. Parkinson (@ScottTParkinson) March 12, 2021

In the early days of his presidency, Biden announced plans to ramp up the vaccine rollout, describing the implementation of Operation Warp Speed as a "dismal failure."

Trump was also heavily criticized for downplaying or even ignoring the threat of COVID-19, which has now killed more than 530,000 people in the U.S.

Speaking to Fox News, Andy Slavitt, a senior adviser to Biden's COVID team, said the administration is "grateful for the work that came before us" and will continue to do their best to accelerate it.

"I would absolutely tip my hat. ... The Trump administration made sure that we got in record time a vaccine up and out," Slavitt added. "That's a great thing and it's something we should all be excited about."

The White House has been contacted for comment.

Donald Trump delivers an update on "Operation Warp Speed" in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C. on November 13, 2020. A number GOP figures are saying that Joe Biden should be thanking Trump for the current vaccne rollout. MANDEL NGAN / AFP/Getty Images

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