After Railing Against Science, Trump Wants To Be Remembered As ‘The Father Of The Vaccine’

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on March 22, 2019. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump on Thursday called himself “the father of the vaccine,” and declared that his administration had saved “tens of millions of lives” in its efforts to push for the quick development of COVID-19 shots.

“They’re very ungracious people,” Trump said of the Biden administration during a Fox Business interview on Thursday morning, bemoaning what he believed was undue credit attributed to his successor for the coronavirus vaccine’s development. “I did the vaccine.”

“If I weren’t president — the vaccine — you wouldn’t have a vaccine for five years, three to five years would be the minimum,” Trump continued. “I got it done in less than nine months. And that’s only because of me.”

The comments from an embittered former president striving to claim enduring relevance in the sector of public health which he spent months undermining come on the heels of President Joe Biden on Wednesday addressing a joint session of Congress, touting his administration’s successful vaccine rollout.

In remarks on Wednesday he said that his administration had surpassed its promise to provide 100 million COVID-19 vaccine shots in 100 days — “we will have provided over 220 million COVID shots in 100 days,” Biden said.

“When I was sworn in, less than 1% of seniors were fully vaccinated against COVID-19,” he added.

The comments did not sit well with the former president who said that everyone is now eager to get a vaccine “and that was all done by Trump.”

“And look, I guess in a certain way I’m the father of the vaccine because I was the one that pushed it. To get it done in less than nine months was a miracle,” he added.

The comments thirsting for a return to the limelight offered stark contrast with Biden’s tone on Wednesday; during his speech, he praised the American people for their efforts to fight the pandemic.

“But tonight, I can say because of you — the American people – our progress these past 100 days against one of the worst pandemics in history is one of the greatest logistical achievements our country has ever seen,” he said.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: