OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
You know the White House is in a jam when an anchor for CNN accuses them of misinformation, which Jake Tapper has done.
The Host of “The Lead” took exception to a tweet by the White House that he called a lie and asked why it was still on Twitter.
“When President Biden took office, millions were unemployed and there was no vaccine available,” it said. “In the last 15 months, the economy has created 8.3M jobs and the unemployment rate stands at 3.6% — the fastest decline in unemployment to start a President’s term ever recorded.”\
When President Biden took office, millions were unemployed and there was no vaccine available.
In the last 15 months, the economy has created 8.3M jobs and the unemployment rate stands at 3.6% — the fastest decline in unemployment to start a President's term ever recorded.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 12, 2022
““It’s amazing this White House tweet is still up,” the host said to White House senior medical advisor Anthony Fauci. “As you know, that’s not true. There were vaccines available, they may not have been widely available, but it was available. CNN fact checker Daniel Dale points out more than 3 million Americans had been fully vaccinated, more than 18 million had at least one shot by Inauguration Day. I think President Biden had two shots by then.”
“You’re the president’s chief medical advisor, why is the White House politicizing the pandemic by tweeting out that there was no vaccine available until Joe Biden became president? It’s not true,” the host said.
Fauci said he was not involved in making that tweet but that “it is important to have facts” in regards to the pandemic.
“Jake, I’m sorry I can’t explain every tweet that comes out,” Fauci said.
“From pure accuracy, that’s not a correct statement,” the doctor said. “But, I mean, it just went out, I’m sorry. There’s nothing I can do about that, Jake.”
JAKE TAPPER: "Why is the White House politicizing the pandemic by tweeting out that there was no vaccine available until Joe Biden became president? It's not true."
FAUCI: "I just can't explain it." pic.twitter.com/9oFe9lZ6OL
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 13, 2022
President Biden was vaccinated before he was inaugurated, meaning the tweet is factually incorrect. But Twitter has not labeled it as misinformation as of this story, nor has the White House deleted it.
“We previously misstated that vaccines were unavailable in January 2021. We should have said that they were not widely available. Vaccines became available shortly before the President came into office. Since then, he’s responsible for fully vaccinating over 200 million people,” The White House said in a correction.
CNN reported in a fact check.
It’s just not true that “there was no vaccine available” at the time Biden took office. About 3.5 million people were fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and about 19 million people had received at least one vaccine dose as of Biden’s inauguration day on January 20, 2021, according to statistics published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The US was already administering an average of more than 1 million doses a day at the time. The first doses administered outside trials were given on December 14, 2020, while President Donald Trump was still in office. And Biden himself received his second dose nine days before he was sworn in.
Biden got the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which obtained emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration under Trump on December 11, 2020. Moderna’s vaccine was authorized for emergency use on December 18, 2020…
The White House is correct that vaccine availability was limited when Biden took office. It wasn’t until April 2021, about three months into Biden’s presidency, that all adults in every state were eligible for the vaccine. States’ early rollouts generally restricted the vaccine to health care personnel and other essential workers, residents of long-term care facilities, and seniors. At the time Biden was inaugurated, it was often difficult even for people in eligible groups to secure an appointment.
But saying “there was no vaccine available” at the time he took office, period, went too far — wrongly making it sound as if the whole vaccine rollout began under Biden.