Former President Donald Trump has often attempted to take credit for the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination campaign in the United States.
But Trump has consistently chosen politics over science, regularly deriding President Joe Biden and his administration while continuing to downplay the pandemic's severity.
Now, as the White House announced that most Americans will need Covid-19 booster shots eight months after their initial vaccination, the former President is claiming that vaccine booster shots are nothing more than a "money-making operation."
Trump made the claim during an August 18 appearance on Fox Business seen below.
Speaking to host Maria Bartiromo, Trump opined:
"That sounds to me like a money-making operation from Pfizer. Think of the money involved. A booster shot, that's tens of billions of dollars."
"How good of a business is that? If you're a businessman, you say, 'You know what? Let's give them another shot.'"
"You wouldn't think you would need a booster. When these first came out, they were good for life. Then they were good for a year or two."
"And I could see the writing on the wall, you could see the dollar signs in their eyes."
Trump's claim is incorrect.
The decision to announce the necessity for booster shots was based on evolving data that shows signs of waning immunity over time.
These developments mean that fully vaccinated individuals might become more susceptible to mild and moderate disease.
A group of eight officials, including infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky stressed this in an official statement:
"Based on our latest assessment, the current protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death could diminish in the months ahead, especially among those who are at higher risk or were vaccinated during the earlier phases of the vaccination rollout."
"For that reason, we conclude that a booster shot will be needed to maximize vaccine-induced protection and prolong its durability."
Beginning September 20, booster shots will be available for people who are eight months out from their last shot. Home residents, health care workers and emergency respondents will likely be initially prioritized.
Those who've received Johnson & Johnson's single-shot vaccine will also likely need boosters, but officials are awaiting more data in the next few weeks before making a formal recommendation.
Social media users criticized Trump for spreading conspiracy theories and wanting the pandemic to "go on, indefinitely."
Others pointed out Trump would have a different opinion if he had a spot at the table.
While in office he and his family and cronies repeatedly came under fire from ethics watchdog groups who cited evidence of them enriching themselves on the taxpayer's dime.
Meanwhile, still more people pointed out Trump would likely be among the first to get a booster shot the moment they become widely available.
Trump and his wife Melania were vaccinated in secret even as the ex-President continued to downplay the pandemic's severity.
Trump has in the past claimed his administration deserved full credit for vaccine development and distribution.
While in office, Trump announced Operation Warp Speed, the partnership initiated by the federal government to facilitate and accelerate the development, manufacturing and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines and medical treatments.
However, Pfizer has not acknowledged Operation Warp Speed. It says it did not work with the Trump administration to develop its Covid-19 vaccine.
Moderna, on the other hand, has confirmed it received funds from the federal government to develop its vaccine.