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Trump Wants To Go Down In History As The Man Who Ended Covid-19, Claiming Moderna Vaccine Success As His Own

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Donald Trump, who has consistently downplayed the risks of Covid-19, has said history should remember him as the man who oversaw two “great” discoveries that will end the pandemic, taking credit for the early successes of Moderna’s vaccine a week after falsely doing so for Pfizer’s vaccine candidate.  

Key Facts

After Moderna announced early data that showed its Covid-19 vaccine to be nearly 95% effective, Trump quickly took to Twitter to take credit for the development, saying history will remember him as the man who ended Covid-19.

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Trump urged “historians” — scare quotes included — to remember that the discoveries that will end the Covid-19 pandemic “all took place on” his watch, once again derogatorily referring to the pandemic as the “China Plague.”

WHO head Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday a vaccine alone will not end Covid-19.  

Trump, as well as allies like Vice President Mike Pence and daughter Ivanka Trump, emphasized the importance of Operation Warp Speed — the Trump administration’s attempt to develop a vaccine as fast as possible — in the vaccine’s development, with Moderna saying the partnership was “instrumental to accelerating our progress to this point.”

Moderna received nearly $2.5 billion from Washington to develop and deliver the vaccine; Pfizer, which announced encouraging early data for its vaccine candidate last week, did not receive development funding but the government has agreed to buy 100 million doses if the company was successful 

Key Background

Alongside false claims of victory in the presidential election, Trump has been making exaggerated and false claims of victory over Covid-19, which is especially outlandish given the fact that nearly 250,000 Americans have died and cases Monday surged past the 11 million mark. Even then, there is still a lot of uncertainty. Neither vaccine has been approved by regulators and clinical trials are still ongoing. Even if approved, and also accounting for the fact that manufacturers have been ramping up production anticipating approval, it will take time for vaccines to be distributed, administered and to take effect. The low temperatures required by Pfizer’s vaccine could complicate this further, if not make it entirely impractical to use in many parts of the world. Vaccinating a sizable share of the world’s population could take years, and it’s not yet known about how long immunity might last. It’s very possible Covid-19, once under control, could become a cyclical illness that stays with us, much like the flu, experts say.

Further Reading

WHO Warns Of ‘Dangerous Moment’ Amid Spike In Covid-19 Cases (Forbes)

Fueled By $500 Million In Federal Cash, Moderna Races To Make A Billion Doses Of An Unproven Cure (Forbes)

Pfizer Has A Head Start, But The Covid-19 Vaccine Market Is Still Up For Grabs (Forbes)

Pfizer Says Covid-19 Vaccine Is 90% Effective, Although Trials Are Ongoing (Forbes)

Moderna’s Covid-19 Vaccine Is More Than 94% Effective, Preliminary Data Shows (Forbes)

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