Trump tells Americans to remember him as he takes credit for vaccine rollout

The statement was issued on a letterhead that bore the seal of the President of the United States

Former U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledges people as he gets in his SUV outside Trump Tower in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 9, 2021. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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Former US president Donald Trump issued a short statement on Wednesday night attempting to take credit for the US acquisition and rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine.

“I hope everyone remembers when they're getting the Covid-19 (often referred to as the China Virus) vaccine, that if I wasn't President, you wouldn't be getting that beautiful 'shot' for 5 years, at best, and probably wouldn't be getting it at all. I hope everyone remembers!’

The statement was issued on a letterhead that bore the seal of the President of the United States.

Reverting to spreading falsehoods, the former president incorrectly claimed it would have taken five years for Americans to receive vaccines without his assistance.

Under President Joe Biden, the US vaccination programme has increased rapidly, now averaging two million doses administered a day.

“On Saturday, we hit a record of 2.9 million vaccinations in one day in America, and beyond the numbers are the stories,” Mr Biden said on Wednesday.

“A father who says he no longer fears for his daughter when she leaves to go to work at the hospital. The children are now able to hug their grandparents. The vaccines bring hope and healing in so many ways.”

But Mr Trump is owed some credit for laying the foundation for the US vaccine rollout. Hs administration was responsible for procuring vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, and Mr Trump pushed both companies to increase production, resulting in vaccines being delivered ahead of schedule as the they doubled and tripled their output.

Last week, Mr Biden said the US would acquire enough vaccines by late May to inoculate all 257 million adults in the country.

While Mr Trump laid the groundwork, the Biden administration took key steps to increase vaccine production in the US, including invoking the Defence Production Act and pushing manufacturers like Johnson & Johnson to keep operate 24 hours a day.

Mr Biden said on Wednesday that the US was set to purchase another 100 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.