MSNBC “Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough lavished rare praise on former President Donald Trump Friday for his administration’s help in developing multiple COVID-19 vaccines through Operation Warp Speed, calling it a “bipartisan victory.”
Scarborough, a former Republican congressman from Florida and staunch critic of the 45th president, favorably compared the Trump administration’s vaccine rollout effort to that of the European Union, saying the US “bet on the right horses.”
The host’s comments came after MSNBC contributor Mike Barnicle slammed Trump for not encouraging Americans to get vaccinated sooner and claimed the US would be a “different country today” if he had.
Barnicle claimed Trump should have spoken to the US about the “miracle” of a vaccine in spring of last year. However, the first emergency authorization from the FDA for a COVID-19 vaccine was issued in December 2020.
“Well, again it’s so unnecessary because again this is a bipartisan victory,” Scarborough responded. “You actually have Donald Trump — and we’ve said this time and again — you actually have Donald Trump, whose administration launched Operation Warp Speed. They bet on the right vaccines. You compare how we did on the rollout and what happened in the EU. We had Moderna and Pfizer — both very effective. J&J, a little less effective.”
“But still, we were lined up to succeed.”
Scarborough did note that the Trump administration was “not good on the logistics” of rapid vaccine distribution before briefly touting the Biden administration’s roll-out efforts.
“Here we have, a bipartisan effort with the president, who — to use a horse racing analogy — bet on the right horses, and extraordinary work by scientists and doctors and researchers. And we got vaccines in record time when people were saying it’s going to take five, six, seven, maybe 10 years. Record time. And then the Biden administration pushed those vaccines out.”
“This should be seen as a bipartisan win. And it’s so unfortunate that it hasn’t been,” Scarborough continued.
The MSNBC co-host added it was “unfortunate” the former president decided not to publicly show himself getting the vaccine or openly talk about it.
Friday was not the first time Scarborough has publicly praised Trump for his administration’s vaccine efforts.
“Americans should be proud of the team effort that made Operation Warp Speed and the vaccination of over 150 million citizens possible. This has been a scientific Moon Shot. Donald Trump selected the best vaccines and Joe Biden ran the logistics very well,” he tweeted in May.
In March, the co-host also acknowledged that the program “worked really well.”
Scarborough’s praise for Operation Warp Speed goes all the way back to November 2020, before the FDA issued the first emergency authorization for the vaccines.
“But the president, if these numbers end up playing out the way it’s looking, if in fact there is a 90 to 95 percent effective rate, and we have millions of Americans by the end of this year being able to take a safe vaccine that makes them immune from the Coronavirus, then that’s one legacy that Donald Trump will take with him out of the White House,” Scarborough said. “And that is that Operation Warp Speed will be considered an unqualified success.”