In his first public remarks since the press declared Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 election, President Donald Trump announced that in addition to the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine that’ll shortly be approved by the FDA, three other companies have vaccines in the final stages of approval, and gave updates on vaccine availability timelines.
Pfizer’s “China virus” vaccine is 99 percent effective, Trump said, and he expects the others in process to have the same level of efficacy.
Trump disputed a statement from Pfizer that they weren’t part of Operation Warp Speed, saying:
In July my administration reached an agreement with Pfizer to provide $1.95 billion to support the mass manufacturing and distribution of 100 million doses, with the option to purchase a total of 600 million doses shortly there after.
Our investment will make it possible for the vaccine to be provided by Pfizer free of charge. Pfizer said it wasn’t part of Warp Speed, but that turned out to be an unfortunate misrepresentation. They are part. That’s why we gave them the $1.95 billion, and it was an unfortunate mistake they made when they said that.
We will work to secure an emergency use authorization which should be coming down extremely soon, and my administration will then coordinate the dsitribution of the vaccine. It will be approved very quickly, we hope.
The vaccine development was five times faster than any other vaccine in history, Trump said.
The vaccine will be distributed to front line workers, the elderly, and high risk Americans immediately. It will be…in a matter of weeks. We know that this virus primarily targets older populations and those with underlying health conditions while over 99.98 percent of those under the age of 50 make a full and quick recovery. By vaccinating the elderly and the high risk we will effectively end this phase of the pandemic and allow seniors to reclaim their golden years, the golden years of their lives…and it’s about time that they can have those golden years.
The President said the vaccine will be available to the general public as soon as April, except in New York – because Gov. Andrew Cuomo has stated that he “doesn’t trust where the vaccine is coming from.”
He [Cuomo] wants to take his time with the vaccine. He doesn’t trust where the vaccine is coming from. These are coming from the greatest companies anywhere in the world, greatest labs in the world, but he doesn’t trust the fact that it’s this White House, this administration. So we won’t be delivering it to New York until we have authorization to do so, and it pains me to say that. So Governor Cuomo will have to let us know when he’s ready for it. Otherwise, we can’t – we can’t be delivering it to a state that won’t be giving it to its people immediately.
And the zinger:
I hope he doesn’t handle this as badly as he’s handled the nursing homes.
In addition to vaccine progress, Trump highlighted treatment options that will be free to the public.
My administration has made critical investments in therapies that have helped reduce the mortality rate by 85 percent. Last month the FDA approved remdesivir, and we’ve secured enough remdesivir to treat 850,000 patients.
My administration has finalized an agreement with Eli Lilly to purchase the first doses of their antibody therapy, which shows amazing results. This treatment will be available completely free of cost to patients. Five thousand units have already been shipped.
We also reached an agreement with Astra-Zeneca for the large-scale manufacturing of their antibody treatment, which is excellent. We expect to issue emergency use authorizations for a number of additional treatments in the near future.
This is incredibly wonderful news.
Trump also assured the public that “This administration will not be going to a lockdown” in response to a growing number of positive coronavirus cases. “Lockdowns cost lives, and they cause a lot of problems. The cure cannot be worse than the problem itself.”
Watch Trump’s remarks below.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) November 13, 2020