White House press secretary Jen Psaki rejected a claim that the Biden administration is following “99 percent” of former President Donald Trump’s “Operation Warp Speed” plan for the coronavirus vaccine and denied that the former administration merits credit.
Psaki was asked at her daily White House briefing with reporters on Thursday about the Biden administration saying it “inherited a mess” from the former president and whether Trump should be given credit for “laying the groundwork” for the swift creation and distribution of multiple vaccines.
“Which ones are we following?” Psaki responded.
The reporter referred to a Twitter posting from Trump’s COVID-19 testing czar, Dr. Brett Giroir, the former assistant secretary of Health and Human Services, that argued Biden was copying “99 percent of Trump’s plan” and that the previous administration warrants acknowledgement.
“I don’t think anyone deserves credit when half a million people in the country have died from this pandemic,” Psaki answered, referencing the US death toll from the coronavirus.
“So what our focus is on and what the president’s focus is on when he came into office just over a month ago, was ensuring we have enough vaccines. We are going to have them now. We had enough vaccinators and we had enough vaccine locations to get this pandemic under control,” she continued.
Giroir, a retired four-star Navy admiral, posted in February that he was getting “tired of the continuing lies that @potus inherited a #COVID19Vaccine 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.”
Psaki said the data bears out the administration’s claim that Trump’s coronavirus team failed to leave a comprehensive plan for vaccine production and distribution.
“We are open-eyed about the challenge that we continue to live under, and that’s why he’s been focused every single day in doing everything possible to get the pandemic under control,” Psaki said.