Biden: FDA panel endorsement of vaccine ‘bright light in a needlessly dark time’
One of the deepest tragedies of the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden noted, is its inept handling by the departing president.
A Food and Drug Administration panel endorsed and recommended emergency-use authorization of Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine Thursday.
The authorization will allow for a shortened approval time in getting tens of millions of vaccine doses out to Americans and, with focus and intent, begin to end the coronavirus pandemic that has gripped America for nine months.
While there is still one more step — the actual approval of the agency — President-elect Joe Biden called the experts’ endorsement, a 17-4 vote, “bright light in a needlessly dark time.”
“We are grateful to the scientists and researchers who developed this vaccine. And, we are grateful to the scientists and public health experts who evaluated the safety and efficacy of this vaccine free from political influence,” Biden said in a statement issued after the group’s vote. “The integrity of science led us to this point.”
The U.S. is still in for a period that will continue to see the COVID-19 death toll rise. On Wednesday, more than 3,000 people in America died from the virus, more than the number of lives lost in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“Yesterday marked another tragic milestone in our fight against COVID-19,” Biden said. “Jill and I grieve with everyone mourning a loved one lost to this deadly virus.”
He noted that one of the deepest tragedies of the pandemic is its inept handling by departing President Donald Trump.
“As we mark this important milestone, we know it didn’t have to be this bad,” said Biden. “My administration will manage a robust and aggressive plan to contain this virus starting on Day One. My first 100 days won’t end COVID-19, but we can and will slow the spread of the disease while we manufacture and distribute this vaccine.”
The President-elect has already established a coronavirus task force, and the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine is already approved for use in Canada and England.