Tag Archives: Pfizer

And now … a good word about Operation Warp Speed

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Admittedly, this blog has spent a great deal of time, emotional energy and cyberspace over the past four years bashing, slashing and smashing at the Donald J. Trump administration.

Trump is about to exit the political stage in less than 30 days. I now want to say a good word about what — in a normal world — should stand as an enduring legacy to his term in office.

This isn’t a normal world. Operation Warp Speed is a creation of someone within the White House to define the mission of finding a vaccine for the coronavirus that has killed more than 300,000 Americans and nearly 2 million people around the world.

The COVID-19 virus arrived early this year. Trump dragged his feet in recognizing publicly the peril it posed. Then he owned up to its consequence. He also announced the strategy he said would expedite the research and development of a vaccine that could cure the world of the pandemic.

Trump predicted during his failed re-election campaign that we could have a vaccine by the end of the year. Skeptics scoffed. I don’t recall speaking directly to Trump’s boast, but it did ring a bit hollow. Others in the White House task force formed to come up with a response strategy said it would take longer.

Well, guess what. Donald Trump was right. Pfizer and Moderna have produced highly efficient vaccines that are now being administered around the world. A third pharmaceutical firm, AstraZeneca, is about to bring a vaccine on line.

There is plenty of debate about the impact that Operation Warp Speed had in delivering these vaccines. Some experts say the drug firms were well on the way to producing it already; others give Warp Speed a ton of credit for goosing the companies to delivering the goods in a timely fashion.

I am willing to dole out praise to Donald Trump for providing some of the impetus to get this vaccine developed and approved. But not all of it. Indeed, I am weary beyond belief of hearing Trump take undue credit for work that others did.

Drug company researchers and scientists worked their butts off to produce a vaccine with an efficacy level that experts have called “extraordinary.” Yet there was Trump the other day stepping into the limelight to say that no other politician in human history could have produced those kinds of results.

Mr. President, the program that came to be under your watch has done well. Accept the congratulations that belong mostly to the researchers … and then get the hell out of the way.

FDA issues the call

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The Food and Drug Administration has issued the call many of us have been awaiting.

The FDA has granted Pfizer emergency authorization to begin distributing a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus that has killed more than 290,000 Americans.

Is this the end of the virus? Are we now able to hug each other as if nothing happened? Have we returned to normal life as we once knew it? No, no, no … and more.

However, the vaccine has arrived. It will be distributed in a complicated logistical operation. It will go first to those in dire need. Medical personnel, first responders, educators, elderly Americans with pre-existing conditions get it first.

The FDA will decide soon on a vaccine developed by Moderna. Then one developed by AstraZeneca should get the OK from the FDA.

I remain hopeful the end to our misery is coming. It might take a while, but it’s on its way.

Vaccine, yes; anti-COVID measures, also yes!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I feel as though I am lecturing a child who likely knows what he or she is about to hear. Here goes nonetheless.

Vaccines that could eradicate the COVID-19 virus that has killed 270,000 Americans and sickened millions more are on the horizon. Does that mean we should relax? Do we now just forget about all the warnings we’ve been hearing and hopefully heeding for the past nine or 10 months?

Not just no, but hell no!

Pfizer and Moderna, two “big pharma” firms that are developing vaccines, are seeking Food and Drug Administration fast-track approval to begin distributing the vaccines; AstraZenena, a third firm that is developing a vaccine, likely is set to make the same request of the FDA.

I am hopeful and optimistic about the vaccines. Just so you know, I intend to be vaccinated as soon as it is available to me. I also know that I — along with my wife — likely will have to wait while others who need it more urgently get vaccinated.

We have been diligent in our house to protect ourselves against the virus. We mask up when we venture outside our house.  We maintain our distance from others. We use generous amounts of hand sanitizer. We wash our hands frequently … in our own home!

I intend fully to continue doing all of that even after I receive my vaccine.

The Dallas Morning News editorialized about all of this the other day, calling on us to refuse to let our guard down. We must not relax even with vaccines on the horizon.

We all know what’s happening out there. Infection, hospitalizations and deaths are up. Too many of us are ignoring the warnings. I heard Dr. Anthony Fauci, the premier infectious disease guru in the nation if not the world say that he has no problem with people accusing him of “overreacting” to the pandemic.

Indeed, it is far better to “overreact” and stay clear of the killer virus than to do the opposite.

I, too, plan to overreact.

Hire the best … and listen to them!

(Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

What do you know about this?

It appears President-elect Joe Biden might be inheriting an actual positive result that has its roots during the Donald Trump administration. That would be the seemingly pending discovery of a vaccine for the coronavirus pandemic that has killed nearly a quarter million Americans.

Two big pharma outfits — Pfizer and Moderna — have declared initial success with vaccines they are running through clinical trials. They boast of success rates of more than 90 percent. Finally there might be some good news to report after months and months of misery.

What is the president-elect’s task now? It is to adhere to the advice given him by the medical team he is assembling to combat this killer virus. Biden doesn’t want a nationwide lockdown. However, he must not be swayed by the political consequence of such an event.

Dr. Scott Atlas currently serves as Trump’s go-to guy on the pandemic. Atlas, though, is not an infectious disease expert. Indeed, he hasn’t practiced medicine for a decade. He is a hack, a political donor who landed a job that should have gone to someone with actual experience and knowledge of infectious diseases.

Atlas also had the terrible judgment to say that Americans should “rise up” against government mandates designed to save their lives. What the hell? He said he wasn’t advocating violence … but it looks like he was doing precisely that to me.

Please, Mr. President-elect, avoid that kind of appointment. Whatever you do, make good on your pledge to “follow the science.” Biden must surround himself with experts and then he must actually heed what they tell him.

The signs are filled with promise the new administration is going to march down a different path than the one used by the government it will replace.

That, folks, is a very good thing.