Donald Trump
Donald TrumpReuters

Former US President Donald Trump told Fox News on Tuesday that he is "very appreciative" and "surprised" that President Joe Biden thanked him and his administration for their success in making COVID-19 vaccines available to the public.

The comments came after Biden announced his plan to fight the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and mentioned the crucial role the Trump administration played in getting the vaccines produced and distributed.

"Thanks to the prior administration and our scientific community, America is one of the first countries to get the vaccine," Biden said. "Thanks to my administration, the hard work of Americans, we let, our roll-out, made America among the world leaders in getting shots in arms."

Speaking to Fox News later on Tuesday evening, Trump reacted to Biden acknowledging his administration’s efforts.

"I'm very appreciative of that — I was surprised to hear it. I think it was a terrific thing, and I think it makes a lot of people happy," said Trump.

"I think he did something very good," Trump said. "You know, it has to be a process of healing in this country, and that will help a lot."

The Trump administration created Operation Warp Speed, a public-private partnership to create vaccines against the coronavirus, as the pandemic raged in 2020. Under his administration, the Food and Drug Administration approved emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

In December 2020, Trump signed an executive order that would ensure all Americans had access to coronavirus vaccines before the US government could begin aiding nations around the world.

"This is a great thing that we all did," Trump said on Tuesday, referring to the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccines. "I may have been the vehicle, but we all did this together."

"When we came up with these incredible vaccines — three of them — and therapeutics, we did a tremendous job, and we should never disparage them," he added. "We should be really happy about it because we’ve all saved millions and millions of lives all over the world."

Trump told Fox News that he received a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, as he revealed during an event in Dallas over the weekend.

For those still hesitant to receive a vaccine, the former President said, "You have to embrace it. You don’t have to do it, and there can’t be mandates and all those things, but you have to embrace it."