As I read today about how the first truckloads of the Pfizer Wuhan coronavirus vaccine were rolled out this morning for delivery and distribution to frontline healthcare workers and nursing homes, my thoughts turned to the media’s/left’s eight-months-long effort to undercut President Trump’s claims on various treatments for the virus as well as his touting of an accelerated vaccine timeline.

Since the pandemic started here in the U.S., the media and Democrats have fed frustrated Americans a steady diet of negativity in response to Trump talking about possible treatments for the virus, with their downplaying of the use of hydroxychloroquine among the more notable examples. They even suggested at one point early on that the sole reason Trump talked so often about the anti-malarial drug was not because he was so much interested in helping people recover but because he had a significant financial stake in it.

It’s hard to pinpoint which was worse: Trump’s detractors deliberately throwing cold water on hydroxychloroquine in spite of various studies and independent claims as to the drug’s effectiveness or their repeated attempts at discrediting Trump’s assertions that a vaccine for the virus would be ready by the end of the year.

The media “fact checks” on a fast-tracked vaccine for the virus started in early March, with the Washington Post citing two “medical experts,” with one of them being National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Fauci, shooting down the possibility of a vaccine being available before the end of the year:

Fauci said vaccine candidates will “likely go into clinical trials in a phase one study within about two months or maybe even six weeks. That would be a record. However, that is not a vaccine, because it will take about three months or more to show that it is safe. And then, if you show that it’s safe, you’ve got to put it into what’s called a phase two trial to show that it works. And the reason is — there’s medical, ethical and other considerations — is that we’d be giving this to normal people to prevent infection. So you must be sure, the edict of medicine: First, do no harm. We need to make sure that it’s safe and we need to make sure it works. That entire process will take at least a year and a year and a half. So when we hear talk about a vaccine’s going to be ready in a couple of months, it won’t be ready for being deployed. It’s going to take a while. So, we’re going to have a multi-step process.”

Regardless of their claims, Trump kept promoting the possibility of a vaccine rollout by the end of the year, including in this tweet:

NBC News reported in a May “fact check” that “experts say [Trump] needs a ‘miracle’ to be right” about a vaccine being available by the end of 2020:

But experts say that the development, testing and production of a vaccine for the public is still at least 12 to 18 months off, and that anything less would be a medical miracle.

“I think it’s possible you could see a vaccine in people’s arms next year — by the middle or end of next year. But this is unprecedented, so it’s hard to predict,” said Dr. Paul Offit, a professor at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Media efforts to undermine predictions of an end-of-year rollout went on for months, including in October, when during a presidential debate moderator Kristen Welker tried to suggest Trump’s timeline was unrealistic:

Let me follow up with you, and because this is new information — You have said a vaccine is coming soon, within weeks now. Your own officials say it could take well into 2021 at the earliest for enough Americans to get vaccinated, and even then they say the country will be wearing masks and distancing into 2022. Is your timeline realistic?

There was much more where that came from:

Reading all that and then knowing what we know now about the impending vaccine rollout, it’s not hard to understand why Trump didn’t always trust his taskforce’s “experts.”

In response to those on the left and in the media who don’t want to give Trump credit for the fact that this vaccine was approved and ready to be shipped out in record time, this Twitter user took the right approach:

Predictably, instead of giving credit where due to Operation Warp Speed and the Trump administration for their role in helping fast-track the vaccine, this was one of CNN’s more popular hot takes:

While Trump didn’t have a crystal ball to be able to know exactly when the vaccine would be ready, he did appear to understand that putting intense amounts of public pressure on Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and others to keep their eye on the ball and get it done would aid in lighting the necessary fires that would ensure vaccine availability by the end of the year.

Assuming Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are certified the winners of the presidential election, the media and Democrats will work overtime to credit them for the vaccine all while ignoring their combined roles in whipping up skepticism for it.

But what shouldn’t get lost in all the fanfare over the vaccine’s continued rollout in a possible Biden-Harris administration is just who had a major hand in expediting the process from the very start via a targeted public relations campaign. Hint: It wasn’t Biden and Harris. It was the guy who the media and Democrats repeatedly said couldn’t get it done.

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —


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