The first doses of a coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer were administered in England this week. But as Trevor Noah pointed out on Tuesday’s episode of The Daily Show, the rollout in America might face some delays. “Because somebody—and I’m not saying which president—well, he done fucked up,” Noah said.
This week, the New York Times reported Pfizer had offered President Donald Trump and his administration at least an additional 100 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine in the summer, an amount that would have doubled its initial supply order. But though it could have locked in enough added doses to vaccinate an additional 50 million Americans, the White House turned the offer down. Now, because of commitments to other nations around the globe, Pfizer said it may not be able to deliver an additional 100 million doses until June.
“Woo, that’s the art of the deal right there, baby,” Noah said of the report. “Pfizer thought that they could pull a fast one on Trump by offering to sell him life-saving vaccines. But my man Trump was like, ‘No deal.’ So now Europe is stuck with all those vaccines, and that means more corona for everyone here in America, baby.”
Pfizer is one of a number of drug companies that began developing a vaccine for COVID-19. According to Trump officials, the administration’s strategy was to hedge its bets on which company would create a safe remedy for the coronavirus.
“We selected six different vaccines to build a portfolio to manage the risk that some may work and some may not work but also ensure that as more than one would work, that we would accumulate vaccine doses from this portfolio of vaccines,” Moncef Slaoui, the chief scientific advisor for the Trump vaccine initiative, Operation Warp Speed, told Good Morning America this week. “Now, in the summer, if somebody came to us and said, ‘Let’s buy more of this vaccine or that vaccine,’ no one reasonably would buy more from any one of those vaccines, because we didn’t know which one would work and which one may be better than the other.”
Operation Warp Speed had promised to deliver 300 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine to U.S. residents by January 2021, enough supply to vaccinate 150 members of the population. But the reality thus far is far less expansive. According to ABC News, the U.S. will have 40 million doses of a vaccine by the end of the year, provided Pfizer and Moderna (which has also had success in developing a COVID-19 vaccine) receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
Still, despite the administration’s rationalizations about its decision to forego a larger pact with Pfizer, Noah was left unconvinced the failed deal was anything other than a colossal misstep.
“This may seem like it was a dumb decision by Trump,” Noah concluded on The Daily Show. “But if you take a moment to think about it, you’ll realize it was a really fucking dumb decision by Trump.”
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