National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins contradicted the Biden administration Sunday, saying the Trump White House deserves considerable credit for its Operation Warp Speed.
“The Operation Warp Speed, for which I give a great deal of credit to [former HHS Secretary Alex Azar], was a[n] effort that many of us were not initially convinced was going to be necessary. And it was thought about as a Manhattan Project,” Collins told Axios.
He added: “Those words were used sometimes to describe what needed to happen in order to get all parts of the government together in an unprecedented way to test up to six vaccines in rigorous trials, and to do this at-risk manufacturing, so that if any of those trials happened to work, you would already have doses ready to go into arms.”
Collins remarked that CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus vaccines “got done in 11 months from when we first knew about this virus is at least five years faster than it’s ever been before.”
President Joe Biden and other top administration officials in recent days offered critical words about Operation Warp Speed.
Operation Warp Speed, announced in May, was the Trump administration’s plan to coordinate federal and private resources to push out a COVID-19 vaccine.
On Monday, the United States recorded 500,000 COVID-19-related deaths just over a year to the day since the coronavirus pandemic claimed its first known U.S. victims in Santa Clara County, California.
In recent weeks, the virus appears to have loosened its grip as CCP virus cases in the United States fell for the sixth consecutive week. However, health experts have warned that virus variants initially discovered in Britain, South Africa, and Brazil could unleash another wave that threatens to reverse the recent positive trends.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the U.S. agency on infectious diseases and a subordinate of Collins, stated on Monday to ABC: “We’ve got be really careful and not just say ‘OK we’re finished now, we’re through it.”
The country had recorded more than 28 million CCP virus cases and 499,510 lives lost as of Monday morning, according to a Reuters tally of public health data, although daily deaths and hospitalizations have fallen to the lowest level since before the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
Reuters contributed to this report.