Joe Biden will hold his first primetime public address as president Thursday where he will push hopes of a return to normalcy and tout vaccination rollout is on track for inoculating every American adult by late May.
The president’s televised address will start shortly after 8:00 p.m. and comes as Donald Trump tries to take credit Wednesday for vaccination rollouts, claiming it wouldn’t have been developed for another five years if he wasn’t president when the pandemic hit.
During Biden’s speech Thursday evening, he will also laud the passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which he plans to sign on Friday.
‘It’s a speech about where we’ve been, where we are and where we can be,’ Senior White House Advisor Anita Dunn told the Washington Post. ‘And I think it will speak to the shared experience of this country over the last year.’
Before taking office in January, Biden vowed that he would get 100 million shots in the arms of Americans in his first 100 days in office – a goal that now appears will be shattered.
Despite his administration’s claims they had to start from scratch with vaccination rollout, Biden barely entered office at the time Moderna and Pfizer started distributing mass amounts of doses.
President Joe Biden will hold his first primetime address as president on Thursday as the U.S. hits the one-year mark of coronavirus lockdowns
The address comes as Biden vowed every American will be inoculated by the end of May – two months earlier than anticipated just a few weeks ago
Trump issued a statement Wednesday evening reading like one of the tweets taking credit for America’s vaccine success
Biden benefited from waves of vaccination production that the Trump administration set in motion toward the end of his term. Pfizer and Modern just started gaining their footing in pass manufacturing their respective vaccinations during Trump’s presidency.
When Biden entered office, they were able to double and triple outputs without any major change in the course of plan from the federal government from Trump’s time in office.
Biden was in office less than a month when Moderna announced it was a month ahead of schedule and would be able to deliver 200 million doses by the end of May.
Pfizer also moved up its timetable , announcing it would be able to deliver 200 million doses two months earlier than originally anticipated.
Both pharmaceutical and biotechnical companies were able to speed up production simply by way of newfound efficiencies in manufacturing and overcoming growing pains.
Trump sought to take credit Wednesday evening for America’s vaccine success in a statement that read more like one of his tweets claiming that the shot would be five years away if not for him.
As the 100 millionth dose is set to be administered in the coming days, the former president said he ‘hopes everyone remembers’ who was in charge when the vaccinations were developed.
‘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 five years, at best, and probably wouldn’t be getting it at all,’ he said.
Trump issued the statement under the letterhead of The Office of Donald J. Trump, but it was very reminiscent of his tweet, which he has been unable to send since he was banned from the platform in the wake of the Capitol riot on January 6.
Trump’s boast was backed up by his former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who accused Biden of ‘denying the successful operation Trump left him’.
‘President Trump put in place an unprecedented vaccine operation that paved the way for President Biden,’ she said.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines passed clinical trials and were approved while Trump was president, giving the US a head start on many other nations.
But Pfizer developed its vaccine without any research funding from Operation Warp Speed, the federal jab program touted by the Trump administration.
Other vaccines such as the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab were developed at similarly impressive speed without any help from Trump or the US government.
While in office, Trump asked future historians to ‘remember that these great discoveries which will end the China Plague all took place on my watch’.
Trump last month told his supporters at CPAC to ‘get your shot’, but is absent from two new public announcements featuring every other living former president.
Despite Trump’s head start in the vaccination roll-out development, the Biden administration did take steps that made the program swifter and more efficient.
Ahead of Biden’s inauguration on January 20, his team decided he would invoke the Korean War-era Defense Production Act so the federal government could help Pfizer obtain machinery it needed to expand its plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
While the Trump administration had repeatedly invoked that law, its order for Pfizer only covered single-use supplies like plastic liners rather than the durable factory equipment.
Biden’s team also helped Johnson & Johnson bottle its vaccination faster after it became the third company to develop a shot against the coronavirus.
All this leads up to this week, where Biden announced his administration will have enough doses in hand by the end of May 2021 to cover all 257 million American adults.
A few weeks earlier, he promised all adults in the U.S. would be vaccinated by the end of July.
Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama will appear in the public service announcements with their respective first ladies, the Ad Council says.
Joe Biden, pictured, is on track to reach his goal of vaccinating 100 million people in his first 100 days in office
‘The science is clear. These vaccines will protect you and those you love from this dangerous and deadly disease,’ said President Bush in one of the adverts.
‘That’s the first step to ending the pandemic and moving our country forward,’ Obama says.
When asked about Trump’s absence, a spokesman for the Ad Council said one of the PSAs was filmed at Biden’s inauguration in January which Trump did not attend.
While Trump and his allies claim credit for the rapid roll-out, the Biden White House says it has nearly doubled the number of jabs being delivered per week.
Press secretary Jen Psaki said earlier this month that the number of doses available per week had risen from 8.6million to 15.2million since Biden took office.
Biden promised 100million doses in his first 100 days in office, a mission which is comfortably on target with nearly 96million jabs handed out so far.
The daily rate of vaccinations now averages more than two million shots, and more than 75million doses have been administered since Biden was sworn in.
Former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton will appear in public service announcements about the COVID-19 vaccines, but Trump will not
Under pressure to set a more ambitious target, Biden indicated after taking office that he might raise the goal to 150million.
The rapid progress has put America near the top of the world rankings, with a rate of 28 doses administered per 100 people comparing favorably to other rich nations.
Around 18 per cent of the population has received at least one dose, behind Britain’s 33 per cent but well ahead of the European Union figure of seven per cent.
Nearly 10 per cent of Americans have had two doses, a figure bettered only by Israel and the United Arab Emirates, according to research by Our World In Data.
On Wednesday, Biden said the US would start exporting surplus jabs once ‘Americans are taken care of’ as he unveiled plans to buy another 100million doses.
We’re going to start off and ensure Americans are taken care of first, but we’re then going to try to help the rest of the world,’ Biden told reporters.
‘If we have a surplus, we’re going to share it with the rest of the world,’ Biden said, adding that ‘we’re not going to be ultimately safe, until the world is safe.