In a recent interview with “Axios on HBO,” National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins praised the Trump administration’s operation “Warp Speed,” saying the former administration deserves credit for the “breathtaking” speed of the COVID vaccine development.
Collins, who is the NIH's chief medical advisor to the NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, actually disputed Fauci’s validation of Vice President Kamala Harris’s “we’re starting from scratch” statement regarding the vaccine rollout.
"The Operation Warp Speed, for which I give a great deal of credit to [former HHS Secretary Alex Azar], was an effort that many of us were not initially convinced was going to be necessary. And it was thought about as a Manhattan Project," Collins stated in the interview.
He continued, "Those words [Manhattan Project] 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 ... so that if any of those trials happen to work, you would already have doses ready to go into arms."
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Collins then praised the Trump administration for recruiting Dr. Moncef Slaoui, who Collins believes was a key factor in motivating actions that led to the speedy vaccine rollout.
"That effort and the recruitment of Dr. Moncef Slaoui was an incredibly important step forward that the administration deserves credit for, because that did motivate a lot of actions, a lot of coordination," he said.
The fact that vaccine development “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," Collins concluded.
A recent Axios report found that America’s vaccine rollout has been one of the most successful in the world. According to the report, the U.S. has vaccinated more people than any other country and a higher percentage of its population has received the first dose of the vaccine than all but five countries. The U.S. is administering vaccines at a rate three times the speed of Europe and five times that of Canada.