- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Former President Donald Trump slammed the Biden administration’s decision to pause the Johnson & Johnson vaccine rollout Tuesday as a “terrible disservice” that will dent the vaccine’s credibility amid the coronavirus fight.

The Food and Drug Administration recommended the pause out of an abundance of caution due to six reports of blood clots among nearly 7 million recipients of the one-shot vaccine.

“The results of this vaccine have been extraordinary but now it’s [sic] reputation will be permanently challenged. The people who have already taken the vaccine will be up in arms, and perhaps all of this was done for politics or perhaps it’s the FDA‘s love for Pfizer,” Mr. Trump, who is banned from Twitter, said in a statement from his post-presidency office.

Mr. Trump oversaw the development of multiple COVID-19 vaccines during the last year of his presidency.

Two of them, from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, were approved during his presidency while J&J‘s was approved after he handed off the mission to President Biden.

Mr. Trump used much of his statement to grumble about the FDA and Pfizer, which announced the results of its successful vaccine trial shortly after the November election.

“Remember, it was the FDA working with Pfizer, who announced the vaccine approval two days after the 2020 Presidential Election. They didn’t like me very much because I pushed them extremely hard,” he said.

He said officials should “do your testing, clean up the record, and get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine back online quickly. The only way we defeat the China Virus is with our great vaccines!”

Mr. Trump has demanded more credit for the vaccine rollout that’s administering 3 million shots per day under the new administration.

He forfeited the most visible way to promote the vaccines, however, by getting his vaccine in private before leaving office in January.

Pollsters say that members of his base — including rural residents, white evangelicals and GOP men — are among the most reluctant to get vaccinated as the U.S. pursues sufficient immunity to wrangle the pandemic.

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