It seems almost impossible in America’s hyper-partisan political environment that anyone working under the Democratic presidency would give credit to the prior Trump administration.
That is precisely what happened when Biden’s COVID adviser Andy Slavitt gave credit to work done under the Trump administration to get vaccines rolled out. Watch:
The interview took place before Biden’s address on Thursday night.
“Johnson & Johnson set to play a big role in defeating the Coronavirus pandemic as the Biden administration announces plans to buy an additional 100 million doses of the company’s single-shot vaccine,” Dana Perino said. “Here to talk about it is Andy Slavitt, he’s the White House senior advisor for the Covid-19 response and we’re grateful to have you here.”
“It has certainly been quite a year, and tonight President Biden will give his first prime time address, he will commemorate the one-year anniversary of our national lockdown and this situation we’ve been through,” Perino said. “The vaccine is a big story, people are excited about it. There’s still some hesitancy out there from some and I know you are working on that, I want to hear about that.”
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“But I want to ask one question about tonight. ‘The New York Times’ headline, this really grabbed me yesterday, by Sharon LaFraniere, she said, ‘Biden got the vaccine rollout humming with Trump’s help. Both administrations deserve credit, although neither wants to grant much to the other.’ In tonight’s speech, do you anticipate the President to look back and maybe recognize that help from the Trump Administration?” she asked.
“Well, look, I think he will spend tonight’s speech doing two things,” Slavitt replied. “One is kind of commemorating the last year and the very trying year that Americans have had on all fronts, whether it’s the direct impact of the virus or whether it is the impact on their small business or their families. And then he will try to look forward and talk about the commitments that he has made and that we have to make to getting the country vaccinated, getting people back up and standing.”
“You know, I think our view is there really are no bad guys here if we are going to succeed together or we’re going to fail together,” Slavitt said. “And I think we’re grateful for the work that came before us and are doing the best we can to continue it and accelerate it.”
“So you are grateful for the work that came prior to it?” Bill Hemmer asked.
“No question,” Slavitt responded.
“So you would tip your hat to Operation Warp Speed?” Hemmer continued.
“I would absolutely tip my hat,” the Biden adviser replied. “This is a scientific process that actually began more than a decade ago with scientists inside the NIH and inside BARDA creating this mRNA vaccine. I think the Trump Administration made sure that we got, in record time, vaccine up and out. That’s a great thing and it’s something that we should all be excited about.”
Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.