In contrasting his presidency with that of his successor, former President Donald Trump said on Monday he hopes Americans “never forget” the contributions he made to border security and the rapid development of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Trump’s been a vocal critic of President Joe Biden’s and he’s targeted his successor for taking a significantly different approach to key issues of his presidency. On Monday, Trump railed against the rising number of COVID-19 cases, influx of migrants crossing the southern border and increase in gun violence.
“When I left office law enforcement was supported like never before, the Border was strong, safe, and secure (the best ever!), and I got a highly effective vaccine developed in less than 9 months (when it was supposed to take 5 years, or more!). Hopefully, people will NEVER FORGET!” Trump said in a statement.
Thanks to advancements in technology and a massive financial investment on the part of the federal government, Trump was able to announce the rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine less than a year into the pandemic. It was a record pace for the development of the vaccine, providing protection that’s proven to keep people out of the hospital, but also sowing doubts about the safety of the inoculation.
Reassurances that corners weren’t cut in developing the vaccine and that it is safe to take has done little to mitigate concerns and only 60 percent of American adults are considered fully vaccinated.
The Delta variant’s rapid spreading throughout communities has officials frantically trying to convince hesitant Americans to get vaccinated. They’ve offered college scholarships, money, tickets to various sporting events and other forms of entertainment and warned if people don’t get vaccinated, America could be right back where it was last year.
While the vaccine’s largely proven effective at keeping people out of the hospital, the virus spreading means it will likely continue to mutate, according to health experts. As it mutates, there’s increased chances a new strain could evade the vaccine and once again put everyone at risk.
Amid concerns in rising cases, some areas have started reinstating mask requirements and Biden is requiring all federal workers be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo regular testing and other requirements. The CDC has also revised its guidance to advise that even vaccinated individuals wear a mask indoors in an area that has high or substantial rates of transmission.
Republicans quickly criticized the CDC’s guidance, claiming the push for people to wear masks after getting inoculated was a means of controlling Americans. The GOP has also combined criticism of Biden’s handling of COVID-19 with criticism about the border.
On Wednesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said the “dramatic rise” in border crossings was driving the “dramatic rise” in COVID-19 cases in Texas, blaming migrants for spreading the virus. Abbott signed an executive order allowing the Texas Department of Public Safety to stop any vehicle that was reasonably suspected of transporting migrants.
Border apprehensions have been rising since Biden took office and more than 1.1 million apprehensions were made this year as of July 16, according to Customs and Border Protection. The last time there were 1 million apprehensions was in 2006, according to the Texas Tribune.
Biden’s handling of the border has been a losing issue for him and Republicans are unlikely to let up on it going into the midterms and 2024 election.
If Trump were in office and the country was seeing an uptick in cases and border apprehensions, the former president said the media would be having an “absolute field day.”