Fox host on promising vaccine news: “Are you finding the timing curious? We had an election a week ago”
Pfizer's head of vaccine development Dr. Kathrin Jansen told the New York Times that “We were never part of the Warp Speed. ... We have never taken any money from the U.S. government, or from anyone.”
Pfizer's Dr. Jansen sought to distance the company from Operation Warp Speed and presidential politics, noting that the company did not take any federal money to help pay for research and development.
“We were never part of the Warp Speed,” she said. https://t.co/baknu0iOtd
— Virginia Hughes (@virginiahughes) November 9, 2020
Jansen also explained the timing of the news release to the Times:
She said she learned of the results from the outside panel of experts shortly after 1 p.m. on Sunday, and that the timing was not influenced by the election. “We have always said that science is driving how we conduct ourselves — no politics,” she said.
The data released by Pfizer Monday was delivered in a news release, not a peer-reviewed medical journal. It is not conclusive evidence that the vaccine is safe and effective, and the initial finding of more than 90 percent efficacy could change as the trial goes on. “We need to see the actual data, and we’re going to need longer-term results,” said Jesse Goodman, a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at Georgetown University.
Update (11/9/20, 11:30 a.m.): Sen. Chris Murphy clarified, regarding government spending:
FYI a lot of people are tweeting about how Pfizer didn't accept government money for this vaccine. This isn't true. HHS did a $2 billion deal with Pfizer to guarantee a market for the vaccine, making Pfizer's R&D spend viable. Classic public/private partnership.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) November 9, 2020
Update (11/9/20, 12:30 p.m.): Pfizer issued a statement regarding its participation in Operation Warp Speed:
Pfizer now says it *is* a participant in Warp Speed. Spokesperson notes its significant purchase agreement with the US government.
Pfizer's head of vaccine development had told NYT it wasn't part of Warp Speed because it didn't take research $, but that's not the whole story. pic.twitter.com/6J3FsoRX4a
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) November 9, 2020