Pharmaceutical Company Pfizer publicly announced on Monday that its vaccine against the Coronavirus is 90% effective. Pfizer, who is developing the vaccine along with its German partner BioNTech says it is now on track to apply later in November for emergency use approval of the vaccine from the United States Food and Drug Administration.
The U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci described the results indicating 90% effectiveness as ‘just extraordinary.. Not very many people expected it would be as high as that,’ he said. All over he world people reacted with hope and the faith that this promising vaccine could return life back to normal and stop the unrelenting infection rate of a virus that has killed so many in the last year. Dr. Bruce Alyward, the senior advisor of the World Health Organization said Pfizer’s vaccine could ‘fundamentally change the direction of this crisis.’ Global markets rallied high on the announcement from Pfizer. The S&P 500 finished the day with a gain of 1.2% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average grew by more than 800 points.
All this is a lottery of immense proportions for Joe Biden and his party who won the election on Saturday. The two biggest issues concerning the American people before they voted were the economy and the coronavirus. The virus and its detrimental effects on loss of lives and the economy were strong weapons that Biden was able to use to disenchant voters away from Donald Trump. The never ending negative media coverage on his handling of the virus was denounced and criticized and although he kept promising that an effective vaccine to beat the Coronavirus was ‘coming very soon’ .. it didn’t come before the pivotal November 3rd election and no doubt played a part in the outcome of the election. Trump continually declared that a Covid-19 vaccine would be available by the end of 2020 and it seems in retrospect although he was belittled by many for making the claim at the time that he was correct.
For Biden to enter into the presidency with a vaccine in his corner would be a relief and a huge achievement. Although Biden welcomed the news he still reiterated that the country still faces a ‘a dark winter’ pointing to the fact that it could take many months before the facilitation of vaccination could be mainstream in the U.S. Biden however did show some enthusiasm saying, ‘I congratulate the brilliant women and men who helped produce this breakthrough and to give us such cause for hope,’ If the Coronavirus Pandemic can be knocked of the to do list of the incoming administration they will enter office without the weight of the virus hanging over their heads and the pressure it puts on the economy, health system and themselves to contain it.
Trump although at first reacting enthusiastically to the vaccine tweeting ‘STOCK MARKET UP BIG, VACCINE COMING SOON, REPORT 90% EFFECTIVE, SUCH GREAT NEWS!’ must surely have felt the intense disappointment and glimpse of being betrayed by this announcement that came just days after the election. The news of the Pfizer vaccine was also simultaneously unveiled as Biden disclosed his plans and Taskforce for tackling the coronavirus. This sudden development so quickly declared after his father lost the presidency prompted his son Donald Trump Jr. to tweet, ‘The timing of this is pretty amazing. Nothing nefarious about the timing of this at all right?’ He was also eluding to the fact that Data on how effective the vaccine was had been expected by the end of October, however nothing was publicly reported until two days after Biden was proclaimed the 46th president of the U.S. Biden was told earlier about the vaccine’s effectiveness on Sunday night, a day after he won from his ‘public health advisors.’
The Democratic Party have said that they oppose the vaccine being distributed under the Trump administration. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke on Good Morning America and said that he and other governors were going to attempt to block Trump’s roll out plan. ‘It’s good news, bad news. The bad news is it’s about two months before Joe Biden takes over and it means this administration is going to be implementing a vaccine plan.’ he said. A reason given for this by Republican officials is that the Democrats want to be seen as ‘solving’ the Coronavirus issue and want their stamp on the success of the distribution of the vaccine, regardless if that means delaying the life saving drug reaching people in need. Trump has tweeted that the U.S FDA ‘and the democrats didn’t want to have me get a Vaccine WIN prior to the election, so instead it came out five days later… as I’ve said all along!’ Trump also claimed ‘If Joe Biden were President, you wouldn’t have the Vaccine for another four years, nor would the @US_FDA have ever approved it so quickly. The bureaucracy would have destroyed millions of lives...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.’ he tweeted. Trump has consistently said that he worked on removing a large number of bureaucratic obstacles to fast-track both the development and approval of a vaccine.
Pfizer’s Greek CEO, Albert Bourla has made it clear he is no fan of Trump’s. He has said he was “disappointed’ when the President during the presidential debate said that Pfizer could go faster when developing a vaccine. ‘I’ve spoken to Pfizer, I’ve spoken to all of the people that you have to speak to, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and others. They can go faster tan that by a lot. It’s become very political. We’re weeks away from a vaccine,’ Trump said. Bourla’s response was to the point stating he was going at the pace ‘of science.’ His comments made it clear that he was annoyed that millions of Americans and people around the world had heard Trump’s comments which he contradicted. ‘Tuesday night I joined the millions of Americans who tuned in to the Presidential debate.. once more I was disappointed that the Prevention for a deadly disease was discussed in political terms rather than scientific facts. The only pressure we feel ——— and it weighs heavy —— are the billions of people, millions of businesses and hundreds of government officials that are depending on us.’
Whether or not Pfizer’s announcement of their vaccine was politically timed or not is hard to assess. Trump has also made enemies of many big pharmaceutical organizations and Bourla sits on the board of many of these. Trump has pushed for more transparency within the industry and regulation of pricing.
Pfizer’s vaccine is being heralded as the miracle the world has been waiting for. It’s debut is too late for Trump but for Biden and the Democrats it could prove to be the best Christmas present they ever received