Did Kayleigh McEnany Claim Obama Promised a COVID Vaccine?

No.

A viral tweet from legal scholar Laurence Tribe claims that White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany “‘promised a vaccine’ for Covid-19 in 2016.”

Tribe’s tweet was itself a quote tweet of a viral tweet from Vox associate editor of politics and policy Aaron Rupar, who shared the clip with the simple caption, “wut.” The 12-second clip shows McEnany saying: “[Trump] tore through bureaucratic barriers so we can get a safe, effective, and timely vaccine. Once again, compare that to Obama/Biden, where they promised a vaccine, they vastly underperformed.” 

The clip in question comes from a longer interview that McEnany did on Fox & Friends Tuesday morning. In discussing the government’s work in creating a coronavirus vaccine through the expedited process known as Operation Warp Speed, McEnany said: “We have renowned experts over at Operation Warp Speed that are working on this, President Trump tore through bureaucratic barriers so we can get a safe, effective, and timely vaccine. Once again, compare that to Obama/Biden, where they promised a vaccine, they vastly underperformed, and you have Biden's advisor back in the Obama/Biden days saying it's a pure miracle, fortuity, that swine flu wasn't a mass casualty event of our time.”

When taken in its entirety, it’s clear that McEnany’s comments about Obama and Biden’s vaccine response were referring to the Obama administration’s response to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, not the coronavirus pandemic. 

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