Fact checkers are calling out the Biden administration for its “starting from scratch” claims regarding pandemic-related vaccination efforts.
The main claim, echoed daily by Press Secretary Jen Psaki, is that the Biden administration took over without any concrete plan on how to fight the pandemic. In an interview with Axios co-founder Mike Allen, Vice President Kamala Harris again pushed this misinformation. When asked about the struggles of the administration’s response to the pandemic, Harris said, “There was no national strategy or plan for vaccinations. We were leaving it to the states and local leaders to try and figure it out. And so in many ways, we’re starting from scratch on something that’s been raging for almost an entire year!”
Fact checkers have noted the Biden administration claims are dishonest. Politifact said: “Saying a plan ‘does not really exist’ is beyond saying a plan is lacking. We rate [Biden’s chief of staff Ron] Klain’s claim Mostly False.”
Even Axios initially sent out a tweet questioning the validity of the Vice President’s statement, writing: “@VP Harris to @mikeallen: ‘There was no national strategy or plan for [COVID-19] vaccinations. We’re starting from scratch.’ At a press conference last month, Fauci said ‘we certainly are not starting from scratch’ on vaccine distribution.’”
When Harris began receiving backlash as a result of her comments, Axios deleted its fact-check. They would go on to repost the video, however they removed the additional context that included Fauci’s comments from their new tweet.
Other media outlets such as CNN have simply chosen not to cover the story as it fails to fit their narrative.
Not all liberal media outlets have decided to allow Harris to continue spreading this misinformation. Fact-checkers at the Washington Post rated Kamala’s statement as ‘two Pinnochios’ meaning “Significant omissions and/or exaggerations.”