“A bright light in a needlessly dark time”, Biden welcomes FDA panel’s approval of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

U.S. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Thursday reacted to the FDA panel’s approval of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, calling it “a 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. The integrity of science led us to this point,” Biden wrote in a statement. 

He wrote: “Yesterday marked another tragic milestone in our fight against COVID-19. Jill and I grieve with everyone mourning a loved one lost to this deadly virus. 

“But today’s recommendation by FDA’s Advisory Committee that an Emergency Use Authorization be issued for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is a 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. The integrity of science led us to this point. 

“Vaccines don’t equal vaccinations. Our challenge now is to scale up manufacturing and distribution to distribute 100 million shots in the first 100 days of my administration. We are putting together an experienced team to do just that. Before I take office, we need the Trump Administration to purchase the doses it has negotiated with Pfizer and Moderna and to work swiftly to scale manufacturing for the U.S. population and the world. And, we will need Congress to fund our distribution efforts. 

“As we mark this important milestone, we know it didn’t have to be this bad. 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. It will take everyone doing their part: mask wearing, social distancing, and limiting their travel over the holidays. 

“Together, we will find more bright lights through the dark times.”

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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