by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Poor Joe Biden. It was his misfortune to inherit one of the technological marvels of our time.
Before President Biden took office, the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines had been authorized for use (with another, from Johnson & Johnson, on the way), and were already being administered to people around the country.
Typically, it takes ten years or more to develop a vaccine, but here were two vaccines against a deadly virus that took less than a year from inception to finding their way into people’s arms.
And yet, listening to President Biden and much of his team, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Biden had to conjure the vaccines out of nowhere because the Trump administration, in its callousness and incompetence, chose to sit on its hands.
Despite his talk of unity and his irenic tone, gratitude hasn’t been a Biden strong suit. He and his officials have blamed Trump in two areas where they inherited success, the vaccines and the border, and should have been absolutely delighted with their good fortune. …
… Now, these same vaccines are a key part of the success story that Biden wants to tell about his response to the pandemic, and so the Trump effort has to be ignored or run down. Biden has referred to “the mess” he inherited, and Harris has said that “in many ways we’re starting from scratch on something that’s been raging for almost an entire year.”
Never mind that without Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, there wouldn’t be a Moderna vaccine. …
… Biden deserves credit for ramping up more production and facilitating wider distribution, but there’s an enormous difference between building on a predecessor’s undeniable, important contributions and starting from nothing. Biden is doing the former and hoping most people believe it’s the latter.