The success of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed has drawn praise from what some would say is an unlikely source: CNN.
The network, which has been heavily critical of President Trump the past four years, applauded the vaccine effort during a segment this week when host Jake Tapper called it an “unmitigated success.” Operation Warp Speed, launched by the administration in the spring, is a partnership between the federal government and the private sector to develop a vaccine against Covid-19 by the end of the year.
Pfizer and Moderna each announced in recent days their vaccines have proven to be more than 94 percent effective in clinical trials. Both companies say they will seek FDA approval for distribution beginning in December. Neither vaccine used cells from aborted fetuses in development, according to the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute, which lists them as “ethically uncontroversial.”
Tapper made his comments during a discussion with CNN’s chief medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta.
“This is an unmitigated success, and we should acknowledge that the Moderna vaccine was done with funds from Operation Warp Speed and the Pfizer one has [Warp Speed] funding when it comes to the distribution and manufacture,” Tapper said. “And I just think it's important that people working so hard … get credit for this. And President Trump was the one who OK’d it.”
Gupta replied, “Yeah, no doubt. The pace of medical innovation has been forever changed. I mean, three months – Jan. 11 – is when they got the sequence of this virus. By March 16 – two months later – shots were going into arms as part of these clinical trials. I couldn't believe it when I saw that pace.
“It typically takes years to really get these vaccines approved,” Gupta said. “It will be done within a year. So that is worth celebrating. And now we have some early data to be very optimistic about.”
Tapper congratulated the White House.
“To all of the scientists, everyone behind this all the way up to President Trump and Vice President Pence, congratulations on this great accomplishment,” Tapper said.
Trump tweeted the video of Tapper and wrote, “THANK YOU!”
THANK YOU! pic.twitter.com/DrtsiD71i4— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2020
Throughout the summer and fall, the White House hailed Operation Warp Speed as a landmark effort. A July statement from the administration called it a “groundbreaking partnership between the Federal Government, scientific community, and private sector to develop and deliver vaccines in record time.” In November, Trump and Pence each noted it was a “record” effort.
The administration says tens of millions of doses will be available by the end of December to vaccinate health care workers and the most vulnerable segments of the population.
Pence this week touted the accomplishment, crediting Trump in a tweet: “President @realDonaldTrump promised the American people a safe and effective vaccine by the end of 2020 and he DELIVERED!”
President @realDonaldTrump promised the American people a safe and effective vaccine by the end of 2020 and he DELIVERED! Because of his leadership & Operation Warp Speed, Pfizer completed its trial with a vaccine that is 95% effective on patients, including Seniors. https://t.co/wOh7A0KQzD— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) November 18, 2020
Photo courtesy: Creative Commons/The White House/Donald Trump Twitter
Video courtesy: GOP War Room
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.