“This is an unmitigated success, and we should acknowledge that.”
Those are the words of CNN anchor Jake Tapper, who on Monday praised President Donald Trump for his administration’s effort to speed up the development of a vaccine for COVID-19.
“We should take a moment, as we always have when discussing vaccine and Operation Warp Speed, that this is, you know, putting aside all of the failures of the Trump administration when it comes to the coronavirus, and there are lots, this is an unmitigated success, and we should acknowledge that,” Tapper said, making sure to temper his praise of the president with a sizable dose of criticism.
Moderna received hundreds of millions of dollars from Operation Warp Speed to develop its vaccine, which is reportedly 94.5% effective at preventing COVID-19 infections. While Pfizer did not take money from initiative during the development phase, it will use Operation Warp Speed dollars to help fund the manufacturing and distribution of its vaccine.
“I just think it’s important that people working so hard … get credit for this and President Trump was the one who OK’d it,” said Tapper.
In response, Gupta said, “No doubt. The pace of medical innovation has been forever changed. I mean, three months, Jan. 11 is when they got the sequence of this virus. By March 16, two months later, shots were going into arms as part of these clinical trials. I couldn’t believe it when I saw that pace. It typically takes, you know, years to really get these vaccines approved. It’ll be done within a year. That is worth celebrating, and now we have some early data to be very optimistic about.”
The anchor concluded the segment by congratulating Trump and Vice President Mike Pence as well as all the other people involved in the rapid development of a vaccination for COVID-19.
On Wednesday morning, Pfizer announced it will be seeking regulatory approval for its vaccine “within days.” The pharmaceutical company, which worked in partnership with the German group BioNTech, said its vaccine is 95% effective at preventing future infections with COVID-19.
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