Former Vice President Joe Biden was informed of Pfizer’s successful coronavirus vaccine news before the nation’s incumbent chief health care administrator, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar.
“I, as Secretary of Health and Human Services, learned about this from media reports on Monday morning,” Azar said Wednesday during an interview with Washington D.C. radio station WMAL.
On Monday, the pharmaceutical giant announced that its coronavirus vaccine candidate showed to be 90 percent effective in large-scale clinical trials, putting the end of the pandemic that has claimed the lives of almost 250,000 Americans since March on the horizon.
“If the Biden campaign found out Sunday night but you … didn’t find out until Monday, that sounds like there’s a problem there,” WMAL host Vince Coglianese said during his interview with Azar.
“There certainly was a gap in communication, let’s say,” Azar responded.
According to RealClearPolitics, White House staff fumed at learning of the vaccine through the media as opposed to directly from the company as Biden did.
While Drs. Moncef Slaoui and Anthony Fauci openly contradicted the president’s campaign statements that the U.S. was reeling towards a vaccine, Monday’s announcement proved the president was right.
As I have long said, @Pfizer and the others would only announce a Vaccine after the Election, because they didn’t have the courage to do it before. Likewise, the @US_FDA should have announced it earlier, not for political purposes, but for saving lives!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 10, 2020
The news that the Biden campaign learned of the vaccine’s effectiveness before official administration officials raises new suspicions over the announcement’s timing less than a week after the November election.
The timing of this is pretty amazing. Nothing nefarious about the timing of this at all right? 🙄 https://t.co/nS5rkywKXT
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 9, 2020
The company also lied about its participation in Operation Warp Speed, the federal initiative driven by the Trump White House to expedite vaccine development.
“We were never part of the Warp Speed … We have never taken any money from the U.S. government, or from anyone,” company Senior Vice President Kathrin Jansen said in an interview reported by the New York Times. Pfizer later had to revise her statement, as they have indeed benefited from a $2 billion dollar contract with HHS.
For those noting Pfizer wasn’t formally part of OWS, the reason it will be able to mass produce 100M doses & distribute them once approved is because of the partnership it struck with HHS & the military supporting distribution logistics – which we’ve been working on for months
— Alyssa Farah (@Alyssafarah) November 9, 2020
On the campaign trail, Biden’s running mate and California Sen. Kamala Harris joined the anti-vaxxer movement, repeatedly casting doubts over a vaccine released under the Trump administration. Following Monday’s announcement however, coming two days after media outlets called the race for Biden, Harris has refrained from further criticism.