Not so fast adoring one – Trump had nothing to do with Pfizer’s potential Covid-19 vaccine.
Lame-duck Vice President Mike Pence broke his post-election silence today when he appeared to give credit to the Trump administration for the development of what might be an effective Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer.
In a tweet, Pence trumpeted the triumph this way:
“HUGE NEWS: Thanks to the public-private partnership forged by President @realDonaldTrump, @pfizer announced its Coronavirus Vaccine trial is EFFECTIVE, preventing infection in 90% of its volunteers.”
Pence was joined in the Trump-created vaccine announcement by Nikki Haley, Trump’s former UN ambassador, who also claimed that the Pfizer work was due to Trump.
“This will be one of the most important action items done by the administration in response to this pandemic.”
There was only one problem for the Trumpist euphoria. And it came from Pfizer itself.
“Pfizer, unlike its competitors, did not join Operation Warp Speed, the government initiative designed to erase the financial risk of vaccine and therapeutics development by providing funding to companies and helping coordinate the trials,” The Washington Post’s Carolyn Y. Johnson reported Monday. “Instead, Pfizer plowed $2 billion of its own money into the project and then struck a $1.95 billion contract with the U.S. government to provide 100 million doses, contingent on the vaccine being effective.”
In other words, they contracted with the government to DISTRIBUTE a vaccine. The money was not earmarked for development.
Dr. Kathrin Jansen, Pfizer’s head of vaccine development, told the New York Times, “We were never part of the Warp Speed… We have never taken any money from the US government, or from anyone.”
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla in September told CBS News, “I wanted to liberate our scientists from any bureaucracy,” Bourla said. “When you get money from someone, that always comes with strings. They want to see how we are growing to progress, what types of moves you are going to do. They want reports. I didn’t want to have any of that.”
Well, you gotta say one thing about Pence (and Haley), both of whom have 2024 presidential aspirations. They know there are over 70 million people who will believe anything, and I mean anything, people like them will say. So what’s the risk? Why not say it, even if it’s not true? Just because they lost the election doesn’t mean they’ve magically gotten scruples.
As the old adage goes, you can take boy out of the Lyingtown, but you can’t take the lying out of the boy.