WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Senators pressed Dr. Robert Redfield, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on the vaccine development process on Wednesday.
Senator Jeff Merkely (D-Oregon) questioned whether Redfield was under political pressure.
“You told governors to prepare for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine on November 1,” said Redfield. “It escapes no one’s perspective that you’re deliberately laying it out two days before the election. Who in the administration asked you to choose that particular date?”
Redfield responded that no one had. Redfield also said there’s no political pressure – a vaccine could come soon – but front line workers and vulnerable populations would get it first. It could be next spring or summer before a vaccine is ready for the general public.
Redfield told Senator John Kennedy (R-Lousiana) the government is making a safe vaccine a major priority.
“What do you call this effort – this worldwide effort led by the United States of America to develop a vaccine? What is the term for it?” asked Redfield.
“Operation Warp Speed, sir,” Redfield responded.
“Have you ever seen anything like Operation Warp Speed?” asked Kennedy.
“It’s unprecedented,” said Redfield.
Redfield also said that wearing a mask for now may offer more protection than a vaccine.