Marco Rubio on What Latest Vaccine News Means for Operation Warp Speed

Posted: Nov 18, 2020 10:00 AM
Marco Rubio on What Latest Vaccine News Means for Operation Warp Speed

Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Pfizer's and BioNTech's vaccine candidate has been crushing it in clinical trials. Their latest data, revealed Wednesday morning, shows that the candidate is 95 percent effective and has consistent results across "age, gender, race and ethnicity demographics." On top of that, they've reported no serious safety concerns.

"Primary efficacy analysis demonstrates BNT162b2 to be 95% effective against COVID-19 beginning 28 days after the first dose;170 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were evaluated, with 162 observed in the placebo group versus 8 in the vaccine group."

The results should be celebrated. And they have been, by people not interested in politics. But because all this great news happened under Operation Warp Speed's watch, liberals everywhere are instead expressing their skepticism. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is among them, even going so far as to suggest that he'd block the distribution of a vaccine in New York. In her vice presidential debate with Mike Pence last month, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) instructed Americans not to take the vaccine if President Trump tells them to.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) did a virtual shake of the head on Twitter.

Operation Warp Speed is a public-private partnership that has done impressive and efficient work to encourage COVID-19 vaccine research and development. The project has helped spearhead a vaccine in record time.

Pfizer has tried to distance itself from Operation Warp Speed, but this is from their own press release in July.

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX) today announced the execution of an agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense to meet the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed program goal to begin delivering 300 million doses of a vaccine for COVID-19 in 2021. Under the agreement, the U.S. government will receive 100 million doses of BNT162, the COVID-19 vaccine candidate jointly developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, after Pfizer successfully manufactures and obtains approval or emergency use authorization from U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

President Trump also pushed back at Pfizer in his Rose Garden press conference last week.

"In July, my administration reached an agreement with Pfizer to provide $1.95 billion to support the mass manufacturing and distribution of 100 million doses, with the option to purchase a total of 600 million doses shortly thereafter," he said. "Our investment will make it possible for the vaccine to be provided by Pfizer free of charge.

"Pfizer said it wasn’t part of Warp Speed, but that turned out to be a unfortunate misrepresentation.  They are part. That’s why we gave them the $1.95 million — billion dollars.  And it was an unfortunate mistake that they made when they said that."

Pfizer is expected to put in a request for an FDA Emergency Use Authorization "within days."

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