Fauci’s boss praises Trump for ‘breathtaking’ Operation Warp Speed

The Hill:

  • During an interview with Axios that aired on HBO Monday, NIH Director Francis Collins praised the Trump administration’s efforts to quickly develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Collins said the fact that two vaccines underwent clinical trials of at least 30,000 people and a rigorous FDA process just 11 months from when the U.S. first learned about the coronavirus is “breathtaking.”
  • Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines received emergency use authorization from the FDA in December.

The director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) says the Trump administration deserves credit for developing safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines in “breathtaking” speed. 

During an interview with Axios that aired on HBO Monday, NIH Director Francis Collins was asked what the previous administration got right in their response to the coronavirus that has left more than 500,000 Americans dead. 

“The Operation Warp Speed, for which I give a great deal of credit to secretary [Alex] Azar, was an effort that many of us were not initially convinced was going to be necessary and it was thought about as a Manhattan Project,” Collins told Axios referring to the U.S. program that developed the first nuclear weapons during World War II. 

“Those words were used sometimes to describe what needed to happen in order to get all parts of the government together in an unprecedented way to test up to six vaccines in rigorous trials, and to do this at-risk manufacturing so that if any of those trials happen to work, you would already have doses ready to go into arms,” he said, adding “that would not be the way things are traditionally done.” 

He also said the recruitment of Moncef Slaoui to lead the initiative was an important step forward the administration deserves credit for, as the move motivated a lot of actions and coordination. 

Collins said the fact that two vaccines underwent clinical trials of at least 30,000 people and a rigorous Food and Drug Administration (FDA) process just 11 months from when the U.S. first learned about the coronavirus is “breathtaking.” 

Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines received emergency use authorization from the FDA in December. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 66 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered across the country. 

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