‘A dramatic success’: Dem offers words of praise for Trump’s ‘Operation Warp Speed’
Throughout his entire time in office, President Donald Trump has battled The Resistance – the self-styled, self-important “dissidents” within the news media, Hollywood, the left-wing activist community and congressional Democrats.
These groups have steadfastly refused to acknowledge the good that Trump’s administration has accomplished for the country – while spotlighting, if not overhyping, the bad – whether it involved the economy, foreign affairs, or, in 2020, COVID-19.
Well, now that Trump seems safely out of the way after Election Day, the pattern has been broken – momentarily.
One prominent Democratic senator has praised Operation Warp Speed, the administration’s effort to harness the power of Big Pharma to produce a coronavirus vaccine.
This week, the administration achieved what many liberals said could not be done, even as recently as two months ago: deliver a viable vaccine before the end of the year. Moreover, it’s not just one vaccine, but two.
In comments made on the Senate floor on Thursday, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said, “The Warp Speed project appears to be a dramatic success. I pray that it will be. Although I’ve been a frequent critic of this administration, I want to give them credit for organizing this effectively, and delivering a vaccine in a timely way – almost amazing timely way in this pandemic that we face.”
Durbin added, “I thank all who were involved in it, especially the scientists and researchers who didn’t give up until they found these vaccines.” He added, “I don’t think there is an American alive today who doesn’t value medical research more today than they did a year ago.”
Durbin’s praise is surprising because Democrats have rarely said anything positive about Trump. But it’s also surprising because it showed how little faith – a condition common among Democrats – Durbin had in the pharmaceutical companies to uphold Trump’s rhetoric of a distributing vaccine this year.
In September, after Trump floated the idea that a vaccine could be ready by Election Day, Durbin criticized that. He accused Trump of pressuring the firms for political reasons and said he had sought assurances from the companies that they weren’t cutting corners solely to satisfy the president.
“Americans seek a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine that can hopefully return a sense of normalcy to their lives. But the proximity of the election cannot dictate the science,” Durbin said.
“The president’s interference and political pressuring of our health experts is shaking public trust in the integrity of the vaccine development process. I asked the leading vaccine manufacturers how they will ensure no corners are cut. Their responses indicate the president’s preferred timeline does not reflect the reality of the scientific process and that we need more transparency. Keeping clinical trial data and protocols secret and rushing a vaccine approval application to the FDA may satisfy the president, but it will not instill confidence in the American public,” he added.
In a letter to Durbin, Robert W. Jones, a Pfizer senior vice president over U.S. government relations, replied, “Neither Pfizer nor the FDA can move faster than the data we are generating through our clinical trial. According to FDA published guidelines, dependent on the data from our studies on the safety and effectiveness of our potential vaccine, the FDA could consider Emergency Use Authorization if the FDA determines that the clinical evidence sufficiently meets its guidelines….”
“If all goes as expected during our clinical work and regulatory authorization or approval is obtained,” Jones continued, “we currently plan to supply up to 100 million doses worldwide by the end
of 2020 and approximately 1.3 billion doses worldwide by the end of 2021.”
Trump knocked down the normal regulatory barriers, the FDA granted its authorization and this week, the vaccine was shipped to the states.
As was said on one occasion of the last Republican president: mission accomplished. And Durbin deserves some credit for acknowledging that.