Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institute of Health, praised the Trump administration for delivering the COVID-19 vaccine in a record-breaking amount of time through Operation Warp Speed.
President Joe Biden’s administration has tried to say the Trump administration left them nothing to work with and that there was no vaccine distribution strategy before Biden took office.
Vice President Kamala Harris even argued she and Biden were “starting from scratch.”
But Collins, the boss of White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci, said the Trump administration deserves credit for getting the vaccine developed in the first place.
“The Operation Warp Speed, for which I give a great deal of credit to [former Health and Human Services 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 said, according to Axios.
“Those words 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,” Collins added.
Collins singled out Dr. Moncef Slaoui, chief adviser of Operation Warp Speed, and said the Trump administration “deserves credit” for recruiting Slaoui and planning “a lot of coordination.”
During the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden and Harris mocked former President Trump for predicting Operation Warp Speed would produce an effective vaccine quickly.
“My guess is [that Trump] is going to announce a vaccine. He’s going to say it’s going to be available around Election Day. He’s going to hype it,” Biden told donors during a Sept. 4 fundraiser.
Harris also accused Trump of using Operation Warp Speed as a political tool, saying he would look “at the election coming up in less than 60 days, and he’s grasping to get whatever he can to pretend he has been a leader on this issue when he is not.”