Banned Twitter user Donald Trump on Tuesday, seeking to politicize the decision by U.S. agencies to recommend pausing the rollout of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine, lashed out at President Joe Biden and called it a “terrible disservice,” while floating an evidence-free conspiracy theory that the distribution was halted to benefit Pfizer and its Covid-19 vaccine.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a joint statement Tuesday recommending states halt administering Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine while health agencies investigate reports of extremely rare blood clots out of an “abundance of caution.”
There were just six reported cases of blood clots out of more than 6.8 million doses administered, and Dr. Janet Woodcock, acting FDA chief, said Tuesday they only expect the pause to last for a matter of days.
Trump took the opportunity to jump on the news, releasing a statement saying the Biden administration “did a terrible disservice to people throughout the world” in calling for the pause, adding that doing so would cause the “reputation” of the vaccine to be “permanently damaged.”
“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,” Trump said.
He went on to reiterate his past claim that the announcement of the Pfizer vaccine’s authorization was withheld until after the election in order to harm him politically.
“They didn’t like me very much because I pushed them extremely hard,” Trump said in his Tuesday statement. “But if I didn’t, you wouldn’t have a vaccine for 3-5 years, or maybe not at all. It takes them years to act! Do your testing, clean up the record, and get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine back online quickly.”
Statement from former President Trump on the pause of J&J vaccines: pic.twitter.com/nsL8T8kwRK
— Meridith McGraw (@meridithmcgraw) April 13, 2021