As soon as this bald-faced lie came out on Twitter, Pfizer officials were asked what Pence was talking about, as they hadn't taken any government money to work on a vaccine. Pfizer, rightly, refused to work with the Trump administration.
Vice President Mike Pence, the Coronavirus Task Force chief, and former Trump UN Ambassador Nikki Haley are under fire for trying to give credit for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to President Donald Trump and the White House's "Operation War Speed."
Pfizer announced Monday morning its coronavirus vaccine is 90% effective. The pharmaceutical giant refused to partner with the Trump administration to develop the drug, instead it worked with a German group.
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) November 9, 2020
Pfizer's Dr. Jansen sought to distance the company from Operation Warp Speed and presidential politics, noting that the company did not take any federal money to help pay for research and development.
“We were never part of the Warp Speed,” she said. https://t.co/baknu0iOtd
— Virginia Hughes (@virginiahughes) November 9, 2020
And a reminder from Pfizer's CEO about why they refused the Trump administration's "help".
ICYMI: Why is @Pfizer financing #Covid19 #vaccine development on its own - instead of accepting government funding? $PFE CEO Albert Bourla says “I wanted to liberate our scientists from any bureaucracy. When you get money from someone...that always comes with strings.” pic.twitter.com/t2IQPP9Wn4
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) September 13, 2020
Nikki Haley also tried to claim credit for the Trump administration.
The news about the @pfizer vaccine being 90% effective is great news for the American people! Many thanks to @realDonaldTrump and Operation Warp Speed. This will be one of the most important action items done by the administration in response to this pandemic. ❤️🇺🇸#USStrong
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) November 9, 2020
It's not just that lie so brazenly, but that they're so stupid about it.
Immediate jeers all around for this bunch of know-nothings.
And, as Pence claims credit, Trump administration is refusing to sign off on transition which a source says could also slow down the development & distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
So not only did Pfizer not join Trump's Operation Warp Speed, they could be slowed by Trump. https://t.co/JMisMU20iT
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) November 9, 2020
- Pfizer was not part of Operation Warp Speed
- Pfizer took no government money
- Trump has nothing to do with this
- neither do you
- Trump still lost
- you did, too
- pack your bags and get out of Kamala Harris's house
— Jeff Tiedrich (@itsJeffTiedrich) November 9, 2020
It's appropriate that Pence tried to claim credit for Pfizer's apparent success developing a vaccine.
Virtually all of the Trump Admin's "successes" involved claiming credit for stuff Barack Obama did.
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) November 9, 2020