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Fauci on fast tracking vaccine production efforts: May have been 'best decision I've ever made'

Fauci’s boss has said the Trump administration should be credited for the speed at which the vaccines were produced. 

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President Donald J. Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence and White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, listens as Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony S. Fauci delivers remarks.
President Trump, Vice President Pence, White House coronavirus team members Drs. Deborah Birx, Anthony S. Fauci at White House in 2020.
(White House/Tia Dufour)
Updated: March 29, 2021 - 5:46pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, is taking credit for the country's development of the coronavirus vaccines.

Fauci, who was a member of former President Trump coronavirus task force, failed to mention the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed campaign when giving credit to himself regarding vaccines.

In a CNN special on Sunday, Fauci said the "best decision" he even made was perhaps fast-tracking efforts to produce a COVID-19 vaccine.

"When I saw what happened in New York City, almost overrunning of our health care system, it was like, 'Oh my goodness,'" Fauci told CNN on "COVID WAR: The Pandemic Doctors Speak Out."

"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," he continued.

Trump announced in May of last year that his administration was launching Warp Speed to develop, manufacture and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine as "fast as possible," according to the New York Post.

The new initiative helped drugmakers produce a shot in less than a year. But Fauci still criticized the rollout from the Trump administration for not having enough vaccines administered.

"We would’ve liked to have seen it run smoothly and have 20 million doses into people today, by the end of the (year) 2020, which was the projection," Fauci said on NBC’s “Today” show in December. "Obviously, it didn’t happen and that’s disappointing.

Trump put the blame on the states, not the federal government, which includes the Food and Drug Administration and assertively approved vaccines under emergency-use protocol. 

"The federal fovernment has distributed the vaccines to the states," he tweeted. "Now it is up to the states to administer. Get moving!"

Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health and Fauci’s boss, has said the Trump administration should be credited for the speed at which the vaccines were produced. 

"It’s just breathtaking that that got done in 11 months from when we first knew about this virus," he said last month. "It is at least five years faster than it has ever been done before."

Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have all received emergency-use authorization for their coronavirus vaccines after creating them with assistance from the federal program.

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