National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins tells "Axios on HBO" that the Trump administration deserves credit for the "breathtaking" speed of COVID vaccine development.
The big picture: The fact that it "got done in 11 months from when we first knew about this virus is at least five years faster than it's ever been before before," Collins said.
- "The Operation Warp Speed, for which I give a great deal of credit to [former HHS Secretary Alex Azar], was a effort that many of us were not initially convinced was going to be necessary. And it was thought about as a Manhattan Project."
- "Those words were used sometimes to describe what needed to happen in order to get all parts of the government together in an unprecedented way to test up to six vaccines in rigorous trials ... so that if any of those trials happen to work, you would already have doses ready to go into arms."
The bottom line: "That effort and the recruitment of Dr. Moncef Slaoui was an incredibly important step forward that the administration deserves credit for, because that did motivate a lot of actions, a lot of coordination."