Kuster: A Safe, Effective Vaccine that Enjoys the Full Confidence of the American Public is Our Best Defense Against COVID-19
Washington, DC, July 21, 2020
**Kuster Questions Drug Companies About Developing and Manufacturing a Safe and Effective COVID-19 Vaccine**
**Watch Rep. Kuster’s line of questioning in today’s virtual Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee hearing here.**
Today, Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) participated in a virtual House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on Operation Warp Speed and efforts to develop a safe, effective, and accessible vaccine for COVID-19. The Committee examined the current state of research, development, and manufacturing of potential vaccines for the coronavirus disease of 2019. In June, Rep. Kuster introduced H.R. 7104, the Coronavirus Vaccine Development Act, to ensure that the United States is prepared to mass-produce and administer a COVID-19 vaccine once one is available and approved.
“Much of the attention related to vaccines has been on the timeline to develop a safe and effective vaccine, but that will be only half the battle,” said Rep. Kuster. “We also face the daunting and unprecedented task of ramping-up production to be able to provide doses for over 320 million Americans, in a matter of months. Preparation must begin now so that we can ensure all Americans will have equitable access to a vaccine once one is available and allow our communities to safely reopen fully. A safe, effective vaccine that enjoys the full confidence of the American public is our best defense against the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“I was glad to see my legislation to expand our manufacturing capacity and require the Administration to begin this planning immediately pass the House as part of the HEROES Act,” Kuster continued. “I thank today’s witnesses for answering our questions about their plans for vaccine production. I hope that the Trump Administration will provide a comprehensive plan as soon as possible - this cannot wait.”
During today’s hearing entitled, “Pathway to a Vaccine: Efforts to Develop a Safe, Effective and Accessible COVID-19 Vaccine,” the committee heard from representatives from AstraZeneca, Janssen Vaccines, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Moderna, and Pfizer. Last month, Rep. Kuster questioned members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force about a comprehensive vaccine plan, but the Trump Administration has yet to provide a plan. A clip of Kuster’s line of questioning is available here. More information on today’s hearing as well as a full video is available here.