After receiving approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday, the first Pfizer vaccine inoculating against COVID-19 was administered to a critical care nurse in New York at 9:23 AM on Monday morning.
“First Vaccine Administered,” President Trump tweeted on Monday. “Congratulations USA! Congratulations WORLD!”
“I hope this marks the beginning to the end of a very painful time in our history,” the nurse said after receiving the vaccination. “I want to instill public confidence that the vaccine in safe… We all need to do our part to put an end to the pandemic.”
The FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer vaccine marks the beginning of the end to the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. Pfizer shipped 2.9 million doses of its vaccine to 636 sites around the country over the weekend. It expects to provide 25 million doses before the end of the year and 100 million vaccines by March 2021. The vaccine will be free to the public.
Yet, throughout the year, the media constantly expressed incredulity when President Trump predicted a vaccine would be available before the end of the year.
Here are four networks that said it could not be done.
At his acceptance speech for the Republican nomination for president on August 27, 2020, the president said, “We are delivering lifesaving therapies, and will produce a vaccine before the end of the year, or maybe even sooner!”
NBC News provided a so-called “fact check” to the president’s assertion saying there was “no evidence” for it.
“This is largely false,” NBC News wrote. “There is… no evidence that an effective vaccine will be delivered by the end of the year. There are four vaccines currently in clinical trials in the U.S, with the one from Moderna furthest along. But it’s impossible to know if these vaccines will prove effective. ‘Vaccines don’t always work,’ one expert told NBC News earlier this year.”
Both Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccine are around 95% effective.
On May 15, President Trump said about a COVID-19 vaccine, “We’re looking to get it by the end of the year if we can… Moving on at record, record, record.”
Yamiche Alcindor, the White House Correspondent for PBS News, replied to the president’s assertion on Twitter.
“Note: Experts and officials say that is likely faster than what is possible,” she wrote.
Responding to the same assertion by the president, MSNBC’s Brian Williams had on Dr. Irwin Redlener who told the network’s millions of viewers that President Trump’s claim was “preposterous.”
“Oh Brian, you know it’s another day of POTUS (President of the United States) in wonderland here,” Dr. Redlener asserted. “It is preposterous to make that statement and also to kind of mislead the American people about what’s possible and what’s not possible.”
“It is impossible to get that done by the end of the year, and this is clearly, like you indicated earlier, some sort of play or ploy to create the narrative that’s going to play out for the November election campaign.
“There’s a lot going on here, but what wasn’t going on was truth telling to the American people, and I just can’t believe my eyes every day,” Dr. Redlener raged while live on air.
MSNBC then published a Tweet linking to the interview. “@IrwinRedlenerMD says President Trump’s claim that a coronavirus vaccine could come this year ‘is preposterous’ and misleading ‘the American people about what’s possible and not possible,’” the network wrote.
Tim O’Brien, Executive Editor and Columnist at Bloomberg Opinion, tweeted in August that “no one” in the Trump administration believed a vaccine would be ready by the end of 2020.
“No one in Trump’s own government — at least those leading Operation Warp Speed, whom I interviewed — believes that a safe, properly tested coronavirus vaccine will be ready by the end of the year. Amazingly irresponsible for Trump to be touting this in the midst of this crisis,” O’Brien wrote.
Now, since Americans are already receiving Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine with millions of doses from Moderna close behind, tens of millions of Americans are likely to be inoculated against the disease by the close of the year.
Contra Dr. Redlener’s claim that President Trump was “misleading the American people,” it seems he was the one doing so. The doctor has since said he was “wrong,” but that hasn’t stopped MSNBC from having him back on. He appeared again twice on the network to discuss “vaccine issues” on December 12.
You can follow this author on Twitter @MettlerZachary
Photo from Shutterstock