The following is a media release from Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s office. She was elected by voters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to serve the state in Washington DC in the US Senate. She is a Democrat.
WASHINGTIN DC – United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, joined Patty Murray (D-Wash.), ranking member of the HELP Committee, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, and 15 of their Democratic Senate colleagues, in a letter to Dr. Moncef Slaoui, Chief Advisor of Operation Warp Speed, and General Gustave Perna, Chief Operating Officer of Operation Warp Speed, asking about recent reports that earlier this year the Trump administration declined to purchase additional doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine when given the opportunity.
The decision could hinder efforts to launch a nationwide vaccination campaign as the U.S. will reportedly be unable to purchase additional doses of the vaccine from Pfizer until pre-orders from other countries are filled. In their letter, the senators express concern about the Trump administration’s lack of planning and transparency, and press for more information about the administration’s preparations to purchase vaccines.
“We write to you about reports the United States Government declined to exercise its option to purchase additional doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine earlier this year. We are concerned the failure to secure an adequate supply of vaccines will needlessly prolong the COVID-19 pandemic in this country, causing further loss of life and economic devastation. We fear this is yet another instance in which the Trump Administration’s failure to develop a comprehensive national vaccines plan in a timely manner could jeopardize efforts to get people vaccinated and ultimately end this pandemic,” wrote the senators.
The letter continued, “To earn public confidence, demonstrate accountability, and ensure the incoming Biden administration has the information it needs to hit the ground running in getting our COVID-19 response on track, the administration must be more transparent about its preparations, as well as how much funding is available, and is needed, to purchase, distribute, and administer sufficient vaccine to end this pandemic.”
The letter was also signed by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Maggie Hassan (D-N,H.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).