Trump campaigns for Republican US senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, in Valdosta, Georgia. File/Reuters
Gulf Today Report
President Donald Trump aims to take credit on Tuesday to sign an executive order to ensure that priority access for COVID-19 vaccines to the American people.
The speedy development of forthcoming coronavirus vaccines, even as his administration is coming under scrutiny for failing to lock in a chance, he (Trump) is eager to take credit for the distribution of a vaccine.
One official said the executive order would lead to the formulation of guidelines for US government agencies to help other countries procure the vaccine once demand in the United States was met.
A man wearing a face mask takes a walk on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade in New York. File/AFP
The revelation, confirmed Monday by people familiar with the matter, came on the eve of Trump's plans to host a White House summit aimed at celebrating the expected approval of the first vaccine later this week. His administration is seeking to tamp down public skepticism over the vaccine and secure a key component of the president's legacy.
The White House is holding a summit on Tuesday to explain plans for vaccine distribution through Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, which has been organizing the effort. Trump and other officials will speak.
The Trump administration is confident it will have enough vaccine to inoculate everyone who wants a vaccine by the end of the second quarter of 2021, one official said, disputing a “New York Times” story that the government declined when Pfizer Inc offered in late summer to sell more vaccine doses to the United States.
A White House official said the companies were not coming because they had active applications pending before the US Food and Drug Administration. A senior FDA official, Dr Peter Marks, is scheduled to address the Tuesday event.
Invitees at the meeting include drug distributors, pharmacies and logistics companies such as McKesson Corp, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc, CVS Health Corp, United Parcel Service Inc and FedEx Corp.
The New York Times reported that Pfizer may not be able to provide more of its vaccine to the United States until next June because of its commitments to other countries.
An administration official noted that Pfizer’s vaccine was still in clinical trials last summer and that the government secured advanced deals to acquire multiple other vaccine candidates.
“Anyone who wanted to sell us, guaranteed without an EUA (FDA emergency use authorization) approval, hundreds of millions of doses back in July and August was just not going to get the government’s money,” the person added.
President Donald Trump points to a reporter as he speaks about the coronavirus. File/AP
About 85 percent of long-term care and assisted living facilities around the country had signed up for a mobile vaccination service provided by CVS and Walgreens, the official said. The US government was concerned about cyber attacks related to the vaccine and had protected itself against them, he added.
Pfizer spokeswoman Sharon Castillo said: “The US government placed an initial order of 100 million doses for Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, and Pfizer is ready to begin shipping initial doses soon after receiving an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA. Any additional doses beyond the 100 million are subject to a separate and mutually acceptable agreement.”
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told NBC News the US government had the option to purchase an additional 500 doses of the Pfizer vaccine but declined to say whether the administration was pursuing that option.
Representatives from Democratic President-elect Biden’s transition team were not invited to the summit. Trump, a Republican who lost the Nov.3 election to Biden, has refused to concede
Late in the fourth year of the Trump presidency, the United States is confronting a far more dangerous war than the “forever wars” he says he is ending. This is a multiphase conflict begun by the president himself, with new battle fronts opened daily. The deadly combat can end only if he is voted out of office.
Not just the American President, the whole world wants to crush the virus. When that will happen will be best told by the researchers and scientists, not politicians (“Trump says US to ‘crush’ COVID-19 with vaccine this year”, Aug. 28, Gulf Today).
The US has undertaken a full-frontal drive to vaccinate its citizens across the country. This is because many Americans have almost reached a breaking point because of the pandemic.
Twitter was caught up in the heated political atmosphere leading up to the 2020 election, particularly when it banned former president Donald Trump following his incitement of the Jan.6 riot at the US Capitol.
Fuel prices for December slightly dropped by 1 per cent or 3-4 fils compared to November.
The Court of Misdemeanors in Dubai sentenced a gang of 3 Arab and Asian nationals to one year in prison and fined them jointly Dhs5.194 million for defrauding a GCC national of an amount equal to the fine on the pretext of a fake vehicle deal.