US President Donald Trump has seemingly taken credit for the creation of two new vaccines in the battle against the coronavirus, saying the discoveries took place “on my watch.”
Drugmaker Moderna announced on Monday that its coronavirus vaccine was 94.5% effective, based on an early look at the results from its large, continuing study.
It is the second company to report preliminary data on an apparently successful vaccine, offering hope in a surging pandemic that has infected more than 53 million people worldwide and killed more than 1.2 million.
Pfizer, in collaboration with BioNTech, was the first, reporting one week ago that its vaccine was more than 90% effective.
A few hours after Moderna’s announcement, Trump tweeted: “Another Vaccine just announced. This time by Moderna, 95% effective. For those great ‘historians’, please remember that these great discoveries, which will end the China Plague, all took place on my watch!”
The US surpassed 11 million cases on Sunday, with 1 million recorded in less than a week, as the virus spreads at an unprecedented speed.
As cases surge, the president, who has repeatedly been criticised over his handling of the pandemic, refuses to concede defeat in the November 3 presidential election, tweeting as recently as Monday that “I won the Election!.”
He added: “The Radical Left Democrats, working with their partner, the Fake News Media, are trying to STEAL this Election. We won’t let them!”
His refusal to acknowledge defeat means the transition process and handover to the actual winner of the election, Democrat Joe Biden, hasn’t happened.
However, the President-elect Joe Biden has moved on with his transition plans and his scientific advisers will meet with covid-19 vaccine makers in the coming days.