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White House Celebrates Operation Warp Speed, Condemns Cuomo’s Reckless Behavior

Nov. 13, 2020 (EIRNS)—The White House held a late afternoon press conference on the historic success of Operation Warp Speed (OWS), America’s mobilization to create vaccines and therapeutics to fight Covid-19. President Donald Trump led off, and cited the tremendous mobilization, with an historic investment in our infrastructure, that created ventilators, PPE, therapeutics and vaccines. He pointedly referenced that he’d been receiving calls from many leaders of other countries, congratulating him upon the announcement of the Pfizer vaccine’s high efficacy.

He rather politely called the New York Times’ embarrassing effort to present Pfizer’s vaccine as not connected with OWS, an “unfortunate misrepresentation.” Then he took the gloves off and put New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his place. Trump said that, while politics had been kept out of the OWS achievement, the New York state governor was an exception. The governor objected to the vaccine deployment because it was associated with Trump. Therefore, vaccines will shortly go to 49 states, but nothing to New York, unfortunately, because the governor has decided it won’t be deployed there. “The Governor will let us know when he’s ready. I hope he doesn’t run this as badly as he did the nursing homes.”

Dr. Moncef Slaoui, the medical head of OWS, reviewed the amazing crash program that vowed on May 15 to bring online a coronavirus vaccine before the end of 2020. He reviewed the six candidate vaccines that they put their money on. The Nov. 9 announcement by the “messenger RNA” (mRNA) candidate from Pfizer, was—according to the proud and happy doctor—a dramatic confirmation that a vaccination against Covid-19 was actually possible and that the antigens they had selected were the right ones. The other mRNA candidate, from Moderna, had announced on Nov. 11 that they had submitted their initial analysis of data, putting them 5-10 days behind Pfizer. He didn’t expect the FDA to grant the authorizations for a couple more weeks, but was excited over the first 20 million people that could be vaccinated in December. Two more vaccines, with live viral vectors, are early in Phase 3 trials now—the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and AstraZeneca’s. The last two, both recombinants, will enter Phase 3 trials in weeks.

Gen. Gustave Perna, the head of OWS’ logistics, emphasized that U.S. pharmacy firms CVS and Walgreen, medical supplies company McKesson, and FedEx and UPS all were pushed into “thinking differently” in tackling the logistics mission and “that this is about saving lives.” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar praised Trump’s bold mission, as the President would not accept last spring, the “at best” one-year estimate. Vice President Mike Pence said that “help was on the way,” and that the regular Monday meeting with governors would focus upon finalizing vaccine deployment plans. It was a strangely beautiful afternoon on the Rose Lawn.

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