WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Operation Warp Speed may be the bright spot in the Trump administration’s fight against COVID-19, according to both allies and critics. In just ten months, drug makers Pfizer and Moderna accomplished what typically takes years: develop a vaccine for a novel virus.
“The speed with which this occurred, as you’re alluding to was not compromising safety whatsoever,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert.
Fauci told NewsNation in a one-on-one interview the operation was a success.
“I think they get considerable credit,” said Fauci of President Donald Trump’s administration.
Even before the vaccines are approved, Fauci said Operation Warp Speed paid to develop hundreds of millions of dollars worth of doses. Pending FDA approval, they’ll be immediately ready for vulnerable populations, and health care workers.
“April, May, June, July, the people in the general public will be able to get vaccinated,” said Fauci.
“The coordination through the Department of Defense and their logistics people, as part of operation warp speed is really critical to this,” said Rep. Larry Bucshon, Republican congressman from Indiana.
Bucshon is a medical doctor, and he too says Warp Speed is historic. He said distributing the vaccines nationwide will be a challenging undertaking, but just as important as vaccine development.
“Some areas may not be prepared for that. But I think they will be quickly and I think they’ll be able to use federal dollars to make that happen,” said Bucshon.
“This vaccine news is good news, and everybody shares credit for it,” said Democratic Senator Chris Murphy from Connecticut.
A frequent critic of the Trump administration, Murphy said he believes the administration handled nearly everything else relating to the pandemic the wrong way, and blames President Trump directly. He did, however, praise Operation Warp Speed.
“To the extent that that’s a program run by the Trump Administration, they should share in that credit,” Murphy said.
One area of bipartisan concern is the fact that incoming President Joe Biden isn’t getting official briefings on the pandemic, or Operation Warp Speed, because election lawsuits have delayed the presidential transition process.
Dr. Fauci said that is concerning.
“The complication is going to be dependent upon whether you have a transition…I would prefer that there be a transition process so that we can hand over to the people that will be coming in the kinds of information, you know there’s nothing like experience, and we really want to share the experience with them.”