In America’s hyper-partisan political climate, it seems almost unlikely for someone operating under a Democratic president to give credit to the previous Trump administration.
That’s exactly what happened when Andy Slavitt, Biden’s COVID advisor, credited the Trump administration’s efforts in getting vaccines out. Take a look:
The interview took place on Thursday night, prior to Biden’s speech.
“With the Biden administration announcing plans to purchase an additional 100 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine, the organization is poised to play a major role in defeating the Coronavirus pandemic,” Dana Perino said. “Andy Slavitt, the White House senior advisor for the Covid-19 answer, is here to talk about it, and we’re glad to have you here.”
“It’s been a long year, and tonight, President Biden will deliver his first prime-time speech, commemorating the one-year anniversary of our national lockout and the crisis we’ve faced,” Perino said. “The vaccination is a big deal, and people are very positive about it. Some people are always reluctant, and I know you’re working on it; I’d like to hear more about it.”
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“However, I have a concern about tonight.’ The headline in yesterday’s New York Times caught my attention because it said, “Biden got the vaccine rollout humming with Trump’s support.” Both administrations deserve praise, even though neither is willing to give the other anything.’ Do you think the President will look back at tonight’s speech and acknowledge the Trump administration’s assistance?” she wondered.
Slavitt responded, “Well, look, I think he’ll spend tonight’s speech doing two things.” “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 the impact on their small businesses or their families,” says the speaker. Then he’ll continue and look ahead and talk about the promises he’s made and that we all need to make in order to get the country vaccinated and people back on their feet.”
“You know, I think our perspective is that whether we’re going to succeed together or fail together, there really aren’t any bad guys here,” Slavitt said. “I believe we are grateful for the work that has gone before us, and we are doing our best to continue and accelerate it.”
“So you appreciate the job that came before it?” Bill Hemmer had enquired.
Slavitt replied, “No question.”
“So you’re a big fan of Operation Warp Speed?” Hemmer moved on.
The Biden advisor responded, “I will totally tip my hat.” “This is a research phase that started more than a decade ago with scientists at the National Institutes of Health and BARDA developing an mRNA vaccine. I believe the Trump administration ensured that vaccines were up and running in record time. That’s fantastic news, and it’s something we should all be happy about.”
That wasn’t so tough now, was it?