President Joe Biden has spent his first 100 days in office encouraging Americans to roll up their sleeves to receive the coronavirus vaccine, “turning peril into possibility, crisis into opportunity, setback into strength.”
To his credit, Mr. Biden moved to boost supply of the vaccines and more than tripled the country’s ability to administer them. To date, he and his advisers have hewed to caution, even overcaution. Officials have expressed reluctance about loosening travel guidance for vaccinated individuals and only recently eased its guidelines on the wearing of masks outdoors.
“The country has gotten tired of lockdowns,” said Robert Blendon, a Harvard professor of health policy and political analysis. “If the president’s able to get people back to some normal life, the relief will be unbelievable.
“And he’ll get enormous credit.”
But President Biden doesn’t deserve all of the credit.
Understandably, Republicans see things differently, crediting former President Donald Trump for Mr. Biden’s good fortune.
“This administration inherited a tide that had already turned,” Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., said in the official GOP response to the president’s joint address to Congress last month. “The coronavirus is on the run. Thanks to Operation Warp Speed and the Trump administration, our country is flooded with safe and effective vaccines.”
By the same token, Mr. Trump can’t take all the credit, either. While the Trump administration shepherded the delivery of two highly effective vaccines, the supply of doses was short of meeting demand.
That’s where vaccine manufacturers come into play. Scientists should be lauded as well for their countless hours over the past year in developing vaccines that have been deemed not only safe, but also effective.
Now the U.S. is sharing some of its precious supply with the world, namely the roughly 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine produced in the U.S. but not yet authorized for use here. At the same time, Sanofi plans to scale up production through next year of Moderna’s two-dose shot.
And the American people deserve credit for getting vaccinated.
“I can say because of you — the American people – our progress these past 100 days against one of the worst pandemics in history is one of the greatest logistical achievements our country has ever seen,” President Biden said in his joint address to Congress last month.
Simply put, both President Biden and former President Trump played key roles in getting us where we are today. Just as this country has shown for generations, it takes a team approach to deliver results.