In a late afternoon press conference in the Rose Garden outside the White House on Friday, President Trump spoke about Operation Warp Speed, the US government’s program which had as its aim the production of a coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year.
In his remarks he assured the nation and the world that help was on the way in combating the coronavirus pandemic, which has wreaked economic and social havoc all over the globe.
Trump stated at the outset that the US government’s vaccine program, called “Operation Warp Speed,” which was tasked with developing a vaccine by the end of the calendar year on May 15, was the “single greatest mobilization in American history.”
He stated that the performance of the Pfizer vaccine, which was announced on Monday as being 90% effective so far in trials “far exceeds any and all expectations.”
Pfizer developed its vaccine by its own means and wasn’t a part of “Warp Speed.”
Trump went on to tout the readiness of the United States to deliver the vaccine just as soon as it receives final approval from the FDA, saying that thousands of doses are all ready and will be released “very soon.” He added that the vaccine will be administered to the most vulnerable in very short order, except for those living in the state of New York.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has expressed skepticism regarding the incredibly rapid speed of the vaccine’s development and has declared that he would not authorize its distribution within his state until further review is made.
President Trump also added that the United States has ramped up its production of the ventilators needed for coronavirus victims and that “Not one person who needed one” has had to go without a ventilator.
As a matter of fact, he stated, the US has actually “helped many countries with their ventilators, and all the problems they were having” in making sure all the victims who needed intubation and ventilators could be provided for adequately.
President Trump also stated that recent information that had come out this week indicating that the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer had nothing to do with Operation Warp Speed program was incorrect.
Trump said that a total of 1.95 billion dollars to “support the development and mass manufacturing” of a coronavirus vaccine had indeed been given by the US government to Pfizer in July of this year. All of the necessary coronavirus vaccine shots, the President stated, will be made available to Americans free of charge, which was the understanding at the outset of the process.
The President stated that the information that had come out of Pfizer to the contrary was an “unfortunate mistake.”
The Pharma giant’s officials had announced triumphantly on Monday that its vaccine had shown itself in clinical trials to be 90% effective thus far.
Vice President Michael Pence, the chair of the Coronavirus Task Force, commended all those involved in creating a vaccine “in record time to save American lives” in his remarks to the press at the event. “Some scoffed,” he said, at the timetable that the government had set for itself for the development of a vaccine.
At this point, he said, barely six months after the beginning of Operation Warp Speed, the Pfizer vaccine was “literally pending FDA approval” and “before the year is out we hope to be able to distribute the vaccine to those who are most vulnerable” and it appeared finally that there was “light at the end of the tunnel.”
“We will get through this together,” he added.
Pence then said that he joined all present in commending the team who helped make the vaccine possible, adding that additional vaccines may very soon be coming up for approval, hinting that this may occur just next week. Pence stated that the coronavirus task force “will be meeting again on Monday and will be reviewing each state’s readiness to implement the use of the vaccine.”