Trump Allies Falsely Claim Credit for Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine

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The Trump administration has been quick to falsely state their role in helping to develop the Pfizer vaccine.

Trump allies have given credit to Operation Warp Speed – their task force to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible – for the success of the Pfizer vaccine, despite their only contribution being an order for 100 million doses. That’s enough to treat 50 million people; the contract also leaves open the option to buy 500 million more.

Mike Pence, who has been silent since the presidential election, tweeted that the vaccine news was “thanks to President Donald Trump and Pfizer,” while Ivanka Trump praised the “tireless work of Operation Warp Speed.”

A Pfizer spokesperson told Forbes that while it is proud to be one of the various manufacturers participating in Operation Warp Speed and had reached an advanced purchase agreement with the U.S. government “the company did not accept BARDA funding for the research and development process. All the investment for R&D was made by Pfizer at risk.” Dr. Kathrin Jansen, Pfizer’s head of vaccine research and development, told the New York Times that their team “were never part of the Warp Speed” and had “never taken any money from the U.S. government, or from anyone.”

Pfizer and BioNTech released results early on Monday stating that their vaccine was 90% effective in its first trials, much higher than the needed 50% from the Food and Drug Administration. The company hopes to file for an emergency FDA approval later this month, making it the first vaccine approved outside of Russia or China. There are still many logistical hurdles that will delay the rollout, though the company has been ramping up production for months to prepare for its success.

The news of a possible vaccine is encouraging to many Americans. While we wait for more information we encourage everyone to continue wearing masks, social distancing and follow the CDC guidelines.