US president Donald Trump has faced a wave of criticism after once again claiming credit for a vaccine breakthrough in yet another trademark flurry of tweets.
He did so while branding the coronavirus the “China Plague” and defiantly claiming he won the US election in a separate tweet.
Announcing trials of a Moderna vaccine had been 95 per cent successful, Mr Trump called on all historians to “remember that these great discoveries, which will end the China Plague, all took place on my watch!”
Yet thousands were quick to thank the scientists behind the vaccine while pointing to the nation’s record number of cases and deaths globally under Trump’s governance.
“History will remember that under Donald Trump’s watch more than 11 million Americans became infected with a PREVENTABLE disease and that more than 245,000 died (so far) from it because of Trump’s negligence and incompetence,” one person responded, garnering more than 4,500 likes.
“You rejected science every step of the way. You didn’t create the vaccine. Science did. Thanks science,” another said.
“The idea that you're somehow responsible is laughable. It's really more in spite of,” one person wrote.
“Anyone else disgusted that Trump wants to take credit for a vaccine but refuses to believe in science?” another asked.
High-profile physician Eugene Gu, who previously successfully sued Trump after he blocked him on Twitter, branded the president a “racist piece of s***”.
While just 24 hours earlier he appeared to admit for the first time Joe Biden had won the US election, a defiant Trump returned to his unsubstantiated rhetoric.
“I won the election!” he claimed.
The tweet was quickly slapped with a warning stating: “Official sources called this election differently.”
Trump’s push for vaccine credit
Trump attempted to take credit for Pfizer’s vaccine announcement last week, quoting his former White House physician Ronny Jackson.
“‘Only because of President Trump, we are going to have a Vaccine by the end of the year’,” he tweeted quoting Jackson.
Vice President Mike Pence tweeted Trump had made a public-private partnership which led to the breakthrough.
However Pfizer notably did not accept government money to develop, test or expand manufacturing capacity under Trump’s Operation Warp Speed initiative to quickly find a vaccine and treatments for the disease.
“Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine development and manufacturing costs have been entirely self-funded,” Pfizer spokeswoman Jerica Pitts said this week.
“We decided to self-fund our efforts so we could move as fast as possible.”
Trump has also claimed news of vaccine development has been withheld until after the election.
John Burkhardt, senior vice president of drug safety research and development at Pfizer, said on November 9 the timing of the company’s vaccine announcement was not related in any way to the presidential election and was made as soon as the efficacy data was ready.
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