Contribute Try STAT+ Today

The Trump administration has invited leading vaccine manufacturers, drug distributors, and government officials to a “Covid-19 Vaccine Summit” next week, just two days before a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee meeting to consider the first U.S. application for a Covid-19 vaccine.

The meeting, set for Dec. 8, will feature President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and several governors and private-sector executives, according to an invitation obtained by STAT. 

Industry officials familiar with plans for the summit interpreted it as an opportunity for the White House to pressure the FDA to quickly issue emergency authorizations for the first two vaccines candidates to be reviewed — one developed by the partnership of Pfizer and BioNTech and the other developed by Moderna — as well as to ensure Trump receives credit for the breakneck pace of vaccine development to take place under his watch. 

advertisement

In a statement, White House spokesman Brian Morgenstern said the president looks forward to convening leaders from the federal government, state governments, private sector, military, and scientific community for a comprehensive discussion with the American people as the administration prepares to deliver this historic, life-saving vaccine to every zip code in the United States within 24 hours of an FDA approval.”

Invitees, according to three health industry figures familiar with the event, include not only Pfizer and Moderna but drug distributors, pharmacies, and logistics companies including McKesson, Walgreens, CVS, UPS, and FedEx. The event will also feature panel discussions between private-sector CEOs to discuss the vaccine development process. 

advertisement

Some executives are irritated at pressure from the White House to attend an event they perceive to be largely political, according to representatives from several of the companies invited, who like others spoke on condition of anonymity to speak candidly. 

The event will come roughly six weeks before Trump is set to leave the White House. Upon taking office on Jan. 20, President-elect Biden will likely be tasked with overseeing a mass distribution effort for vaccines developed during the Trump administration. 

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Trump has repeatedly cited Operation Warp Speed, the federal vaccine initiative, as his administration’s crowning pandemic achievement. In recent months, he has suggested that the FDA is part of a “deep state” plot and that Pfizer, the company that will likely be first to distribute and administer its vaccine, intentionally delayed release of clinical trial data to harm his reelection odds.

On Tuesday, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows summoned Stephen Hahn, the FDA commissioner, to the White House to explain why the agency hadn’t already moved to authorize Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines, Axios reported

Trump has long called for the FDA to move faster and credited his government’s efforts with the record timetable for developing vaccines. “I came up with vaccines that people didn’t think we’d have for five years,” Trump said Sunday in a Fox News interview.

  • A boycot of this ghastly event is unlikely – due to potential boons in attending, or fear for losing jobs. It is a blow below-the-belt, yet another one by a total loser. How this President operates in the dying days on his job is the perfect series of examples of how much many rules in US top government must change. This dictatorial behaviour should not even remotely be possible in America-the-Great !!

  • The companies should decline to participate. The White House is a hot spot. Companies can’t put their employees at risk. And those employees should be on the job getting the vaccines made, shipped, and distributed rather than schmoozing and getting infected at the White House.

  • “I came up with vaccines that people didn’t think we’d have for five years,” Trump said Sunday in a Fox News interview. ”

    Wow – didn’t know he was a scientist, inventor, and expert in mRNA technology! Asshat.

  • > to deliver this historic, life-saving vaccine to every zip code in the United States
    > within 24 hours of an FDA approval.”

    just the first few doses. They should make that clear.
    Too late for this season, this wave.

  • It seems that the WH calling a meeting BEFORE the FDA has finished checking the data causes one to wonder if they are being forced to act. Looking back just one month we were told it would take until January before the vaccine would be available. Then we were told the FDA will look at data in two weeks. If they approve any of the vaccines there will be suspicion as the what the WH did. Based on the information that has been given, I for one would not be in a hurry to take the vaccine. I remember what happened years ago with thalidamide. It was used and it wasn’t for almost two years before they discovered children being born missing arms and legs. There are still 425 of these people still alive.

    I think the testing should go on for a little while longer with a larger population.

    • worth noting that the FDA never approved thalidamide – they had concerns and took a cautious approach as they continued to assess safety. The UK approved it and then the birth defects happened.

  • Everybody has a preference about who should be the first to get the vaccine but nobody wins if enough of the health care workers are sidelined with the disease. That’s what’s happening now in some hospitals. Who will be available to care for those patients who get sick and need hospitalization?

  • enabling development of vaccines/therapeutics during a pandemic is a fundamental duty of any administration. You don’t get extra points for simply doing your job. Also considering, it wasn’t even motivated by noble feelings, but seen just as a publicity stunt to get reelected.
    After all, it is a hoax, isn’t it?

    • The mayor of Valdosta, Georgia, who is also a radio personality, is attending…big whoop…

Comments are closed.