Trump Dismisses COVID-19 Vax Safety Claims, Says He Saved 100 Million Lives

Former President Donald Trump has dismissed claims that COVID-19 vaccines are broadly unsafe while asserting that his own role in the development of the vaccines may have saved

100 million lives. Trump touted the effectiveness of Operation Warp Speed, his administration's program to accelerate the development of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics,

during a Monday interview on the conservative podcast The Water Cooler. Host David Brody asked the former president if he would "acknowledge" that the vaccines "were not

as safe or effective as we were told by the medical community at the time," after repeating a number of unsubstantiated anti-vaccine claims. "I was able to get something

approved that, you know, that has proven to have saved a lot of lives," Trump said, ignoring Brody's request to weigh in on the anti-vaccine narrative. "Some people say that I

saved 100 million lives worldwide." Trump touted the speed of vaccine development under his program, saying that he was "able to get [the vaccines] done in nine months,"

as opposed to what he claimed would have been "five years to 12 years." The former president said that it was "very important" to note that he did not order lockdowns or a

federal vaccine mandate and had "never forced anyone" to get the shots. He also praised Republican governors for refusing mandates and lockdowns at the state level.

However, he singled out his potential 2024 GOP primary opponent Ron DeSantis for pandemic policy criticism, pointing out that the Florida governor had shut down his state "for

a period of time."