National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci appeared to praise himself for the quick development of COVID vaccines during a CNN special Sunday night about the coronavirus pandemic and medical experts’ response to the virus.
During the interview, Fauci seemed to take credit for the development of the nation’s COVID-19 vaccines without apparently even mentioning President Donald Trump and his administration’s Operation Warp Speed, the New York Post pointed out.
What’s that now?
Fauci was one of the key figures CNN’s Sanjay Gupta interviewed for “COVID WAR: The Pandemic Doctors Speak Out.”
Gupta asked Fauci, “Was there a moment, Dr. Fauci, when you said, ‘OK, this is the big one?'”
Fauci replied, “Yeah, when I saw what happened in New York City, almost overrunning of our health care system, it was like, ‘Oh my goodness.'”
Then he added, “And that’s when it became very clear that the decision we made on January the 10th — to go all out and develop a vaccine — may have been the best decision that I’ve ever made with regard to an intervention as director of the institute.”
As the Post said, Fauci did not appear to give credit to — or even bother to mention — Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, which saw the U.S. government pumping billions of dollars into multiple drug manufacturers to get a COVID vaccine developed as quickly as possible.
Unlike his boss
Though Fauci didn’t appear willing to credit Operation Warp Speed for getting vaccinations into people’s arms, his boss, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, is on the record praising the Trump administration’s efforts for getting COVID vaccines developed with “breathtaking” speed.
Collins told “Axios on HBO” just last month that the Trump White House deserves credit for its efforts to get the shots developed and administered.
“The Operation Warp Speed, for which I give a great deal of credit to [former HHS] Secretary [Alex] Azar, was an effort that many of us were not initially convinced was going to be necessary,” he told Axios.
Collins pointed out that the agency actually looked at the Trump plan as something akin to the “Manhattan Project” because of its enormity and complexity.
He said the effort “was an incredibly important step forward that the administration deserves credit for, because that did motivate a lot of actions, a lot of coordination.”
The fact that there were two vaccines ready to go by December “is just breathtaking,” he added.