The Trump administration turned down an offer to buy more of Pfizer's highly effective coronavirus vaccines. Now, the United States can't get more for months.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Tuesday defended Donald Trump after a bombshell report from the New York Times revealed the Trump administration turned down a chance to order more doses of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine — a move that could now lengthen the time it takes to inoculate the U.S. population.
"We are going to have more than just the Pfizer vaccine. And it was smart to not put all our eggs in one companies basket, it protects us from the risk one of the vaccines failed or faced production problems" Rubio tweeted Tuesday morning.
The Trump administration helped secure enough doses of the vaccine — which Pfizer says was more than 90% effective at preventing COVID-19 in its studies — to inoculate 50 million people. Those doses are expected to start being administered soon, with the Food and Drug Administration saying Tuesday the vaccine is both safe and effective.
However, more people could have received the vaccine faster had the Trump administration not turned down Pfizer's offer for more doses. Sources told the Times that Pfizer urged the Trump administration to order more doses multiple times this summer, according to the New York Times' report, but the warnings went unheeded.
And now, Pfizer says it cannot guarantee more doses until June 2021 at the earliest.
Trump, in the meantime, has wrongly taken credit for Pfizer's vaccine, even though the company did not take any federal money to develop it.
Many are calling this the latest failure in Trump's pandemic response, which has left the United States with the highest death count from the virus of any country on earth, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.