White House: Did you know that there was no vaccine available when Biden took office?

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

They must think the average American’s memory is as bad as Joe’s is nowadays.

By “vaccine,” do they mean something other than the COVID vaccine?

The first person in the U.S. to be vaccinated for COVID got her shots on December 14, 2020, a little more than a month before Trump left office. Jeryl Bier remembered that Biden himself got each of his first two doses before being sworn in.

Nearly a million people per day were getting their first shots by Inauguration Day 2021:

Republicans spent the first few months of Biden’s presidency snickering at his supposedly ambitious pledge to administer 100 million vaccinations in his first 100 days. The country was already on pace to hit that mark by the end of Trump’s term!

No wonder Trump alums have been butthurt at times about not receiving enough credit from Team Biden for Operation Warp Speed. According to the Biden comms department, OWS apparently never happened.

Hopefully America’s new disinformation czar, Nina Jankowicz, is on the case and will soon set the record straight about this glaring propagandistic lie.

A theory: Maybe some White House staffer in charge of the official Twitter account got overeager in trying to counterprogram yesterday’s very grim news?

The great majority of vaccinations in the U.S. have taken place on Biden’s watch but so have the great majority of COVID deaths. Mercifully, that trend seems to be easing now. Cases have risen to north of 100,000 per day in each of the past three days, part of a weeks-long trend nationwide, and are doubtless being significantly undercounted thanks to the proliferation of at-home rapid tests. Yet deaths continue to hover at around 325 per day. Americans aren’t dying of COVID as much anymore thanks to widespread immunity and better medicine. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that as the virus continues to evolve in ways designed to puncture immunity and senior citizens drag their feet on getting their second or even first boosters, the share of COVID deaths among vaccinated people is rising.

In the second half of September — the height of the Delta wave — less than a quarter of all Covid-19 deaths were among vaccinated people, federal data shows. But in January and February, amid the Omicron surge, more than 40% of Covid-19 deaths were among vaccinated people…

Overall, the risk of dying from Covid-19 is still about five times higher for unvaccinated people than it is for those vaccinated with at least their primary series, CDC data shows.

But there’s a significant disparity by level of vaccination, too: When adjusted for age, people vaccinated with only their initial series faced about three times greater risk of dying than those who also have their booster shot.

Even a booster is no guarantee of survival for an elderly person who’s infected, but it increases their odds substantially. In January and February, less than a third of COVID deaths were among people who’d had three shots.

Now that the entire population has a degree of immunity of one form or another, the demographics of COVID deaths have begun to look more familiar. Last year, because senior citizens were prioritized for vaccination, there were stretches in which younger people died at a disproportionate rate relative to older ones. This year, because all age groups have now acquired immunity through infection or vaccination, it’s mostly seniors who are dying again. “2022 has looked a lot more like 2020 and the first winter surge,” writes CNN. “[S]o far this year, about three-quarters of all Covid-19 deaths have been among seniors.”

The only way to reduce your risk is to get boosted (or double boosted if you’re old enough) but as I write this the CDC website claims that slightly less than half of Americans who’ve had two shots have bothered to get their third. Among seniors, roughly one-third have yet to be boosted(!). Scientists are worried that as the new more contagious strains of Omicron migrate from the heavily vaccinated northeast to less vaccinated parts of the country, daily deaths may begin to tick up again. We’ll know soon: Next month is the start of “COVID season” in the south.