Ham-handed Trump botched his own plan to position himself as the pro-science candidate: columnist
Donald Trump (Screen Grab)

President Donald Trump created a plot to lead former Vice President Joe Biden into looking like the anti-science guy when he announced he didn't trust any vaccine Trump rushed out the door without proper testing and development.

According to the Washington Post's Greg Sargent, the media fell for it, asking Biden if he was suddenly an anti-vaxxer.

"Presto! Biden is now the anti-vaxxer, and Trump is the one aligned with the scientists! Trump’s magical manipulation of the public narrative worked once again!" wrote Sargent.

The reality, of course, is something different as Biden clarified in a press conference Wednesday, when he said he trusts science, doctors, and experts, he just doesn't trust Trump.

"But Trump has now destroyed that story line," wrote Sargent. "By publicly breaking with [Dr. Robert] Redfield over the timing of the vaccine, Trump defined the debate as one in which the public must choose: Either believe Trump, or believe the scientists."

Whatever attempts Trump was trying to use to claim Biden is anti-science and the media's "both-sideism" were dashed during the Wednesday press conference.

"Just before Trump broke with Redfield, Biden had declared that the American people should “trust vaccines” and “trust scientists” but that they should not “trust Donald Trump.”

As a New York Times piece notes, Trump’s slap-down of Dr. Redfield in his press conference “seemed to lend credence” to Biden’s concerns.

"It also pointed out that when Trump accused Biden of promoting anti-vaccine theories, he was being 'misleading,'" Sargent cited. "In other words, Trump proved Biden right. It will be harder and harder for news coverage to avoid making this clear to readers. That’s due to Trump’s ham-handed undermining of his own propaganda."

The White House is talking about having 100 million vaccines going out by the end of October and another 300 million by January. There's not even a vaccine yet, and according to the experts who have lined up to testify before Congress or explain on cable news, we'll be lucky if the vaccine is finalized by the end of the year. Availability of it likely won't happen until next year.

"The obvious game plan here is to create the impression that a solution is right around the corner, due to Trump’s stupendous leadership, even if it ends up not materializing, and rely on credulous media to amplify the message in the run-up to the election," Sargent explained.

He closed by asking why Americans would trust anything coming out of the White House at this point, particularly on a virus they said was going to magically disappear by April. Why would Americans trust Trump with a complex rollout of a vaccine after him seeing he didn't even believe his own scientists?

"And after we’ve seen so much other naked subversion of the public interest to Trump’s political needs?" Sargent concluded by asking.

Read the full column at the Washington Post.