President Trump hosted an Operation Warp Speed summit at the White House Tuesday afternoon with a focus on Wuhan coronavirus vaccine distribution. Major pharmaceutical company Pfizer is on the cusp of gaining emergency approval for their version of the vaccine from the Food and Drug Administration, which could come at any time.
"If authorized, tens of millions of vaccine doses will be available this month and we'll get it distributed very quickly, we have it all set and hundreds of millions more will quickly follow. Every American who wants the vaccine will be able to get the vaccine," Trump said. "We think by spring we are going to be in a position nobody thought possible just a few months ago."
"The plan we put forward prioritizes the elderly and patients with underlying conditions, as well as healthcare workers and first responders," he continued.
Before Operation Warp Speed, the typical timeline for vaccine development and approval lasted years. pic.twitter.com/fvVehwRWXn— The White House (@WhiteHouse) December 8, 2020
The White House has contracted 100 million doses of the vaccine from Pfizer with the option to request 500 million more doses. FedEx and UPS, whose executives participated in the summit, are standing by to distribute the vaccine to thousands of sites around the country. Walgreens, CVS and other pharmacies are prepared to properly store the vaccine.
Our team is prepared to transport COVID-19 vaccines to where they are needed most around the world. ?? pic.twitter.com/BNKipdwNPX— FedEx (@FedEx) December 8, 2020
Before the summit, President Trump signed an executive order with a goal of prioritizing vaccinations of Americans before other countries.
"Today, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order to ensure every American has priority access to free, safe, and effective COVID-19 vaccines. As part of the Executive Order, President Trump directed his Administration to develop a strategy for giving other nations access to United States Government COVID-19 Vaccines. After all Americans have been afforded the opportunity to be vaccinated, the United States will facilitate COVID-19 vaccine access to the international community for our allies, partners, and others," White House National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien released in a statement. "In the coming days, my team at the National Security Council will finalize this strategy and coordinate the United States Government’s subsequent implementation. The United States leads the world in health and humanitarian assistance, and we will work to ensure that America continues to save lives and provide human dignity to our friends around the world as we fight this horrible pandemic together."