Trump calls Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine a 'medical miracle,' as Pelosi opts to thank scientists and researchers
- President Donald Trump on Friday praised the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine as a "medical miracle" after the FDA granted emergency authorization for its use.
- His political opponents weren't as congratulatory. On Twitter, Rep. Ilhan Omar said, "This was all avoidable."
- "Republicans are engaged in election subversion that imperils our democracy," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a Friday statement.
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As the US Food and Drug Administration gave emergency authorization on Friday for Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, most in Washington DC celebrated the scientists who developed the drug, but a few managed to get in partisan digs across the aisle.
"Today's Emergency Use Authorization of thePfizer vaccine is a tribute to the tireless efforts of scientists and doctors who have worked around the clock to ensure that we have a vaccine that is effective and safe," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a statement.
Earlier on Friday, however, she'd put out a blistering statement chastising Republicans for their handling of the pandemic and efforts to reverse the result of the presidential election.
Pelosi said: "Up until now, the president has refused to lead our country in that way and now more than 15 million Americans have been infected and nearly 300,000 killed – more Americans than died in combat in World War II. It is imperative that our nation comes together to protect the lives and livelihoods of the American people. Instead, Republicans are engaged in election subversion that imperils our democracy."
President Donald Trump put out an all-caps message on Twitter, then followed up with a three-minute video where he called the vaccine a "medical miracle."
"This is one of the greatest scientific accomplishments in history," he said from the Oval Office.
Graham on Twitter thanked "all those working hard in the Trump administration to make Operation Warp Speed a success." Sen. Mitch McConnell also thanked Trump's administration for its "bold action," saying "this should mark the beginning of the end of this terrible chapter. What an announcement."
Florida Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Neal Dunn followed suit, both praising the administration for its efforts.
"I am proud of our nation's unprecedented efforts to treat this virus, and I commend this administration's diligent work in prioritizing the health and safety of the American people," Biaz-Balart said in his statement.
But others on Friday pointed out what they saw as Trump's failure to act quickly enough to save more American lives. "This was all avoidable," said Rep. Ilhan Omar on Twitter.
Other Republicans were seemingly careful to not mention Trump or his administration in their statements on the vaccine. Texas Rep. Michael Burgess called the vaccine development the "essence of American innovation," giving full credit to the scientists and researchers who developed it.
As did Michigan Rep. Fred Upton, who represents a district where one of Pfizer's manufacturing plants is.
"The light at the end of the tunnel is now shining bright on our community for mastering the challenge. Well done, our Pfizer faithful!" Upton said in a statement.
Hawaii Rep. Mazie Hirono added that the vaccine's emergency use approval doesn't mean an end to coronavirus safety measures. Doses are expected to begin rolling out as soon as this weekend, but many Americans will have to wait in line for their chance.
"The authorization of this vaccine alone will not end the pandemic, and all of us must continue doing our part – by wearing a mask, washing our hands, and practicing social distancing," Hirono said in a statement.
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