Trump administration holds Operation Warp Speed Vaccine Summit
President Trump on Tuesday said the forthcoming coronavirus vaccines “will end the pandemic,” saying the U.S. is just “days away” from the first “safe and effective vaccine” to combat COVID-19.
The president, during the vaccine summit at the White House on Tuesday, touted Operation Warp Speed — his administration’s public-private partnership which was created over the summer to create a vaccine “at break-neck speed.”
“We’re just days away from the authorization from the FDA, and we’re pushing them hard,” the president said, adding that the U.S. government, following the agency's approval will “immediately begin mass distribution.”
“We are very, very happy we were able to get things done at a level we haven’t seen before,” Trump said, saying that vaccines created by Pfizer and Moderna “are approximately 95% effective,” saying that projection was “far exceeding anything that really anybody thought.”
“We are very hopeful that the FDA will authorize the Pfizer vaccine within days, and the Moderna vaccine almost immediately thereafter,” Trump continued.
The FDA is set to meet Thursday regarding Pfizer and BioNTech’s application for emergency authorization use of their coronavirus vaccine, just three weeks after the companies filed for it. The FDA also plans to meet on Dec. 17 to discuss Moderna’s vaccine.
President Trump speaks after awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor, to Olympic gold medalist and former University of Iowa wrestling coach Dan Gable in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, Dec. 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
“It will end the pandemic,” the president said. “People who aren’t necessarily fans of Donald Trump have said that this is one of the greatest miracles of any other age of medicine.”
The president went on to thank everyone involved in Operation Warp Speed, including members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and private sector executives.
"My administration provided a total of $14 billion to accelerate vaccine development and to manufacture all of the top candidates in advance," he said.
“It has been a modern-day miracle,” the president said. “I want to give you my love. And good luck.”
The president, during the summit, also signed an executive order, which Fox News first reported Monday, to ensure Americans had access to the coronavirus vaccines before the U.S. government began aiding nations around the world.
“We work with the world,” the president said. “We’re working with the world.”
The president said the order would “ensure the U.S. government prioritizes the getting out of the vaccine to American citizens before sending it to other nations.”
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“If necessary, we will invoke the Defense Production Act if there are any problems with vaccine production," the president said, adding that "we don’t think it will be necessary."
The president added that Operation Warp Speed will “continue to expand availability of ground-breaking therapies.”
The president also went on to tease new coronavirus tests that do not need a medical professional to be administered. It is unclear what those tests will entail and when they would be rolled out.
Meanwhile, the president said governors will make “the ultimate decisions” as to who receives the vaccines first, saying he “hopes they make very wise decisions.”
“We urge our governors to put America’s seniors first, and those who work with seniors, doctors, nurses, first responders,” the president said.
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Attending the White House summit were industry and supply chain participants — including executives from UPS, FedEx, McKesson, Thermo-Fisher, CVS and Walgreens.
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