Pence delivers his final COVID taskforce report to Biden, lays blame for the outbreak on China and WHO
Ari Hoffman | The Post Millennial
On his last day in office, Vice President Mike Pence provided President-elect Joe Biden the final report of the White House Coronavirus Task Force while under his direction. Pence had led the task force for the past year and his unique perspective on the outbreak will likely become the historical record of the pandemic.
The 140-page report outlined everything that the outgoing administration has done to combat the COVID, as well as a status update for the incoming administration. The report laid the blame for the pandemic, that spread across the world killing millions and destroying economies, squarely on China and the World Health Organization (WHO).
“Little was known or understood about the novel virus and over the coming weeks China and the World Health Organization repeatedly disseminated incomplete and inaccurate health information that significantly obstructed the ability of the rest of the world to mount an informed response.”
According to the report, China’s actions allowed the virus to spread to the rest of the world. “Not only did China deliberately inhibit research and disclosure of essential information about the virus, but it also seeded the infection globally by facilitating international travel out of China, even as it imposed internal travel restrictions and hoarded PPE and medical supplies that would soon be urgently needed worldwide.”
The report details how the task force sped development of the vaccine through Operation Warp Speed, secured medical supplies, slashed regulatory red tape to create therapeutics, invoked the Defense Production Act to manufacture medicines, increased hospital capacity, and developed data systems to test and track the virus.
The report noted that “just two days” after the genetic sequence of the virus was released by researchers in China on Jan. 11, 2020, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) partnered with Moderna to design the “vaccine that the FDA would ultimately approve as safe and effective later that year.” The report called speedy swift development of the vaccine “nothing less than a medical miracle,” and that the development of the vaccine so quickly as well as the advances in therapeutics to combat the virus was possible “only in America.”
“As of the date of this report, the supply chain has been strengthened, testing is available to all who need it, innovative therapeutics have been developed that are daily saving lives, and safe and effective vaccines are being distributed and administered across the land.”
“More than 400,000 of our fellow Americans have lost their lives to the coronavirus, and although hospitalizations and mortality rates are in nationwide decline, the virus continues to exact a toll on lives and livelihoods,” the report stated. “But as we count that cost, it redoubles our determination to build on the progress we have made, and to restore this great nation and her people to health and to prosperity.”