When the White House announced on Tuesday that President Donald Trump would host a summit to highlight the progress of a COVID-19 vaccine summit, it came as news to many stakeholders involved in the production process of vaccines.
According to three people familiar with the matter, including senior administration officials working on the federal government’s response to the coronavirus, key members of the White House coronavirus task force and senior representatives from the pharmaceutical industry. were not aware of the event before it became public.
The event, first reported by STAT News, is scheduled to take place at the White House on December 8. And it will likely include executives and representatives from the pharmaceutical, pharmaceutical and logistics industries. But the process by which it came together caught many off guard, once again pointing out that Trump’s White House is more concerned with the pomp and presentation of the COVID fight than the fight itself.
According to two other senior administration officials, the summit appears to have been planned at the last minute and was widely viewed by officials working on the administration’s vaccination efforts as a public relations show designed to allow the president to take credit for development and production. a COVID-19 vaccine. Officials said they expected the event to be largely political, with representatives from each industry feeling obligated to take the time to thank the president for the vaccine development efforts he delegated to d ‘others, including those working with Operation Warp Speed, a public-private partnership aimed at speeding up vaccine deployment and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is leading the distribution campaign.
When asked if they would be required to attend the summit next week, a senior official working with the White House Coronavirus Task Force said: “I hope not.”
The White House has not commented on the record of this story. Calls and emails to Pfizer and Moderna, two of the drug companies that have submitted emergency use authorization requests to the federal government. STAT News reported that invitations were sent out for the event, although several people involved in the vaccine development process say they did not receive them until the event was announced.
Officials note that the vaccine summit could prove too festive as coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and associated deaths sweep the country. The United States recorded the highest number of COVID-19 deaths – 2,804 – since the start of the pandemic on Wednesday, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. Already, the White House has planned dozens of parties for the coming weeks, where masks will be encouraged but not mandatory, despite warnings from the internal administration that Americans should not gather for such gatherings.
CDC Director Robert Redfield told an American Chamber of Commerce event on Tuesday that the United States is heading for one of the “most difficult times in our country’s public health history. , in large part because of the stress that will weigh on our health system. . Redfield said the United States could see up to 200,000 more deaths in the coming months.
The vaccine summit will fall two days before the Advisory Committee on Vaccines and Related Biologics (VRBPAC), a committee that reviews the safety and efficacy of vaccines, meets to discuss the authorization for use of vaccines. emergency and to make recommendations to the Federal Drug Administration on the authorization of the vaccine. According to a recent report from Axios, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows called FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn to the White House this week to explain why the agency had not acted faster to authorize the vaccine. The Daily Beast previously reported that while vaccines were airlifted to cities across the country before FDA approval, local officials are still deciding exactly who in their communities will receive the first doses. .
For the president, the development and distribution of a vaccine has become the primary focus in the fight against the pandemic, even as senior health officials in the administration, including Redfield; Dr Deborah Birx, White House COVID-19 Task Force Coordinator; and Dr.Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease specialist – all encouraged the public to continue to practice common health practices.
Officials met with Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday at a task force meeting to discuss the third wave of cases and which states will see an overwhelming number of new deaths in the coming weeks, which included states of almost all parts of the country, according to a senior administration official with direct knowledge of the meeting. Trump did not come, the official said.
– with a report by Sam Stein
#Trump #announced #big #summit #coronavirus #vaccine #forgot #key #numbers