Washington, DC – Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR) penned an op-ed for the Washington Examiner highlighting the historic results of President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed. He wrote the op-ed ahead of attending the White House’s Summit on COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
You can read the full piece in the Washington Examiner here and catch a few highlights below.
Operation Warp Speed shows how we come together when times are tough
E&C GOP Leader Greg Walden (R-OR)
December 8, 2020
Over the past year, COVID-19 has caused great devastation and hardship around the world. In the United States, this new, vicious virus has claimed more than 250,000 lives. We now know this virus is hardest on the elderly, those with underlying health issues, and people of color, but it has affected everyone in some way.
The Trump administration has known from day one that the federal government couldn’t fight this virus alone. Civilians couldn’t fight it alone, and private companies couldn’t fight it alone. That’s why President Trump launched public-private partnerships such as those formed through Operation Warp Speed. As a result, we have a real chance to conquer this new public health threat faster than at any similar time in human history.
In the past few weeks, in part because of Operation Warp Speed, Pfizer and Moderna have both reported their COVID-19 vaccines are safe and have high rates of efficacy, with Pfizer reporting 95% efficacy and Moderna 94.5% efficacy. Thankfully, the Trump administration has worked closely with our states to develop localized plans to distribute the new vaccines rapidly to those most in need, such as healthcare workers and people in nursing homes.
That’s why Operation Warp Speed does more than help ensure the swift creation of a safe and effective vaccine. It also has helped us create therapeutics and plan and prepare in advance for the distribution of a vaccine once authorized or approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Moderna and Pfizer have already submitted their applications to the FDA for emergency use authorization. Tens of millions of people could start receiving vaccinations as early as next week. This kind of quick turnaround has never happened before and is only happening now because of Operation Warp Speed.
As the ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over public health, I have worked closely with our country’s top public health officials and those tasked with our nation’s response to this deadly virus. Throughout this pandemic, our committee conducted oversight of efforts to develop a vaccine, including hearings with top officials from the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health, and the FDA. We have also held hearings with vaccine manufacturers. I am confident that both vaccine manufacturers and the scientists overseeing vaccine approval are adhering to the highest safety standards.
Click HERE to read the full op-ed.