REPORTED BY NICOLE SILVERIO, MEDIA REPORTER | May 13, 2022
CNN’s Jake Tapper ripped President Joe Biden’s administration Friday for stating a false claim about the COVID-19 pandemic. The White House claimed in a Thursday tweet that no vaccines were available when the president assumed office in January 2021 and touted the decrease in unemployment since the start of his term.
“It’s amazing this White House tweet is still up,” Tapper told 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,” Tapper continued.
Fauci said he had no involvement with the tweet and cannot answer that question. Tapper then pressed that “it is important to have facts” regarding COVID-19 and vaccinations, which Fauci agreed by adding Biden had, in fact, been vaccinated before entering office. (RELATED: Twitter Enlists Users To Flag ‘Misleading’ Tweets As Part Of Misinformation Crackdown)
“From pure accuracy, that’s not a correct statement,” Fauci said. “But, I mean, it just went out, I’m sorry. There’s nothing I can do about that, Jake.”
The first COVID-19 vaccine dose was administered on Dec. 15, 2020, under former President Donald Trump’s administration. The day prior to Biden’s inauguration, nearly 1.2 million doses had been administered. The president received his first dose of Pfizer’s vaccine on Dec. 21, 2020, and his second on Jan. 13, 2021.
The tweet has yet to be corrected and has not been flagged as misinformation by Twitter, though the platform has a history of labeling tweets deemed to be mis-or disinformation about the vaccine.