Donald Trump gestures during the presidential debate.

Trump Could Have Secured 100 Million More Vaccine Doses, but Didn’t Because He’s Donald Trump

Truly the worst people all of the time.

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Since the very beginning of the pandemic, Donald Trump and his team have bungled every aspect of their COVID-19 response and recovery. From ignoring the severity of the virus to abandoning states seeking aid to refusing to wear masks, the White House has abdicated their responsibility in a myriad of ways that range from criminal to downright evil. Still, it was shocking to learn that about their latest failure: pharmaceutical giant Pfizer offered Trump’s administration the opportunity to buy more than 100 million additional doses of the vaccine.

And the White House turned them down.

Pfizer already had an order in place for 100 million vaccines as part of a $1.95 billion deal months ago, but offered Trump the opportunity to purchase more as they ramped up production. Pfizer’s vaccine requires two doses, so the 100 million Trump has already ordered will only vaccinate 50 million Americans. Meanwhile, Pfizer and German partner BioNTech have instead finalized a deal with the European Union for over 200 million doses of the over 90 percent effective vaccine.

In response, Trump is issuing an executive order that keeps U.S. vaccines in the U.S. until all Americans have been inoculated. It’s a pointless order that does nothing to stop a potential vaccine shortage as our nation continues to be overrun with the coronavirus. In response to the situation, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services said, “We are confident that we will have 100 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine as agreed to in our contract, and beyond that, we have five other vaccine candidates.” In addition to failing to procure more vaccines, the Trump administration has refused to join Covax, a world health initiative to make the vaccine available across the globe.

Moncef Slaoui, the chief scientific adviser of Operation Warp Speed, said that the administration turned downed the opportunity to acquire more vaccines over the summer because they didn’t want to put all their eggs in one basket, telling ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America, “Let me remind everybody what our strategy is and has always been, … We selected six different vaccines to build the portfolio, to manage the risk that some may work and some may not work, but also to ensure that as more than one would work that we would accumulate vaccine doses from this portfolio of vaccines.”

Isn’t Trump supposed to be a “dealmaker”? I guess he only deals in incompetence, corruption, and wholesale death. And Americans everywhere will suffer from his malignant incompetence and stupidity. The only upside? There’s only 43 more days of this madness.

(via New York Times, featured image: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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Author
Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.