Was there really no COVID-19 vaccine before Joe Biden became president?

In a town hall meeting televised by CNN on February 16, 2021, President Joe Biden made the claim that there was no COVID-19 vaccine when his administration came into office.

The claim:

In the CNN interview hosted by Anderson Cooper, Biden said the country didn’t have a vaccine on January 20th.

“The biggest thing is, when you and I talked last, we talked about, it’s one thing to have the vaccine, which we didn’t have when we came into office. But a vaccinator. How do you get the vaccine into someone’s arm?” Biden said.

Is it fake news?

Thanks in part to a program launched by former President Donald J. Trump called “Operation Warp Speed” two COVID-19 vaccines were approved by the FDA for immediate distribution to American citizens.  The first COVID-19 vaccines were administered in America on December 20th, one full month before President Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.  By inauguration day on January 20th, 16.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered.  Biden admitted during that same town hall that there were 50 million doses available to his incoming administration.

Joe Biden received his first COVID-19 vaccination shot on December 21st. He received his second shot on January 11th, further proving that Joe Biden was not telling the truth when he said America did not have any COVID-19 vaccines when he took office.

Verdict: 100% Not Exactly News

We’re not sure what point Joe Biden was trying to make, if any at all, but his statement of “we didn’t have when we came into office” is 100% false.  It has been well documented that the COVID-19 vaccine rollout began in December of 2020 and continued in the month prior to his inauguration.

The following is a meme that was widely distributed on social media after Biden claimed there were no vaccines on January 20th.

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