Trump’s farewell falsehoods: Outgoing US President claims his administration ‘developed’ COVID-19 vaccines

WASHINGTON: On his way out, President Donald Trump claimed credit for things he didn’t do and twisted his record on jobs, taxes, the pandemic and much more.

Falsehoods suffused his farewell remarks to the country.

As well, in noting Americans were “horrified” by the storming of the Capitol this month, he brushed past the encouragement he had given to the mob in advance and his praise of the attackers as “very special” people while they were still ransacking the seat of power.

A look at some of his statements Tuesday: COVID-19 Trump: “Another administration would have taken three four, five, maybe even up to 10 years to develop a vaccine. We did in nine months.”

The facts: Actually, the administration didn’t develop any vaccines.

Pharmaceutical companies did.

And one of the two US companies that have come out with vaccines now in use did not take development money from the government.

Trump’s contention that a vaccine would have taken years under a different administration stretches credulity.

COVID-19 vaccines were indeed remarkably fast, but other countries have been developing them, too.

A vaccine for the coronavirus is not a singular achievement of the United States, much less the Trump administration.

US drugmaker Pfizer developed its vaccine in partnership with Germany’s BioNTech, eschewing federal money for development, though benefitting from an advance commitment from Washington to buy large quantities if the vaccine succeeded.

A vaccine by Moderna, from the US, is also in widespread use.

But Britain’s AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine is being administered in several countries and vaccines from China and Russia are also in limited use.

More than a dozen potential vaccines are in the late stages of testing worldwide.