Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) announced Wednesday that he took part in Pfizer’s trial to engineer a CCP virus vaccine and has subsequently tested positive for virus antibodies.
In a press statement, Daines said that he and his wife both participated in a blind trial. For this reason, the senator said he does not know if he received the placebo or the vaccine, but the presence of CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus antibodies indicates he may have either received the vaccine or prior to the study been exposed to the virus.
Daines said he took part in the trial because he wanted to help restore hope, and because of a strong belief that people need a vaccine to get back to a normal way of life.
“My goal is to help build confidence and trust for Montanans and the American people wondering if they should take the vaccine when it is approved,” he said in a statement. “This is about saving lives. This is about supporting our healthcare heroes. This is about protecting Montana’s jobs and workers and rebuilding our economy,” he added.
“Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve made the research, development, and manufacturing of a COVID-19 vaccine and therapeutic drugs a top priority,” he said.
Daines praised Operation Warp Speed, saying that the nearly $2 billion deal that the Trump administration made with Pfizer helps with “production and nationwide delivery of the vaccine.”
On Nov. 18 Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said optimism exists for two safe and effective vaccines that may be authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna within a few weeks.
“We’ve worked closely with these manufacturers to ensure that they have what they need in the way of raw materials with Operation Warp Speed, applying the same skills and that keep the U.S. military supplied to ensure that there are no delays in vaccine production,” Azar said.
Azar said that close to 40 million doses of the two vaccines are expected to be available for distribution by the end of December, which is enough to vaccinate about 20 million of the most vulnerable citizens.
The secretary also said the administration has worked with public and private insurers to make the vaccine free.
Daines said he would recommend that people get the approved vaccine but does not believe it should be mandated by the government.
“I would, however, encourage people to get the vaccine once approved, in consultation with their doctor,” Daines said.
“I trust Montanans to make the decision for themselves, use commonsense, and practice personal responsibility. While we wait for a final vaccine approval, we must remain smart, protect the most vulnerable in our communities, and be responsible,” he said.