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Earlier this week, the White House falsely claimed that “there was no vaccine available,” when Joe Biden took office. It was an easily disproven claim, seeing as the first COVID-19 vaccines were approved by the FDA for emergency use in December of 2020—not long before Joe Biden received his first dose on live television. Biden also had his dose before taking office.
It was a pretty big mistake to claim that there was no vaccine before he took office when he (and I suspect many in his administration) had already received it. It took more than 24 hours for the White House to finally walk back the claim.
“We previously misstated that vaccines were unavailable in January 2021,” the White House said in a tweet. “We should have said that they were not widely available.”
We previously misstated that vaccines were unavailable in January 2021. We should have said that they were not widely available.
Vaccines became available shortly before the President came into office. Since then, he’s responsible for fully vaccinating over 200 million people. https://t.co/rHJ0GZ63Dy
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 13, 2022
But even this walk back was misleading.
By the time Biden took office, vaccine distribution was well underway, and over 16.5 million doses had already been administered. For the White House to suggest that there weren’t a lot of COVID vaccines available to the public when Biden took office is simply false. The Trump administration had ordered at least 400 million vaccine doses from Pfizer and Moderna—enough vaccines to innoculate 77% of the United States population eligible to receive a shot—before Biden even took office. For context, just over 66% of the population has had at least their full initial dosage, according to Our World in Data.
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As I’ve said before, the Biden administration has been relentless in trying to rewrite history when it comes to COVID and the COVID vaccine. The White House’s attempt to walk back the lie it tried to get away with included yet another lie. And sadly, I expected nothing less from these people.