'He still doesn't trust Donald Trump': White House dismisses claims Biden contributed to vaccine hesitancy
The White House denied that President Joe Biden contributed to vaccine hesitancy as his administration grapples with stagnated vaccination rates against the coronavirus.
Biden's comment that he did not trust President Donald Trump during last year's campaign did not exacerbate the problem, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
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"It's safe to say he still doesn't trust Donald Trump, so that hasn't changed. But he does trust scientists, he does trust data experts, and he does trust the people leading the CDC, the FDA, which is the gold standard of approval for vaccines," she told reporters Wednesday.
Psaki has not seen any data supporting the claim that Biden had made people hesitant to receive the vaccine. And Biden has repeatedly credited Trump's administration for "moving the vaccine forward," she said.
"Just for context, the former president was also suggesting people inject versions of poison into their veins to cure COVID," she added.
Psaki defended Biden hinting last year that the public should wait for the Food and Drug Administration to fully authorize the vaccines before receiving a shot, as well as his delay in naming his own nominee to head the federal agency.
Biden was still searching for "exactly the right person" for the FDA, according to Psaki. In the meantime, "it is a place that is filled with talented, experienced scientists, data experts, career staff, who are certainly running the FDA effectively," she said.
Both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris last fall were adamant that Trump could not be trusted when it came to the vaccine.
"Let me be clear: I trust vaccines, I trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald Trump, and at this moment, the American people can’t either," Biden said. "If Donald Trump can’t give answers and the administration can’t give answers to these three questions, the American people should not have confidence."
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More than 70% of adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine as the delta variant reasserts pressure on hospital systems in areas with low vaccination rates. Oregon this week became the third state to reinstate a mask mandate to mitigate the spread of the virus.
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Tags: News, Healthcare, Biden Administration, Joe Biden, White House, Donald Trump, Coronavirus, Vaccination, Delta Variant, 2020 Elections
Original Author: Naomi Lim
Original Location: 'He still doesn't trust Donald Trump': White House dismisses claims Biden contributed to vaccine hesitancy