The lifelong plagiarist is having trouble breaking the habit of claiming credit for work he didn’t do. . . and he’s apparently surrounded himself with like-minded people.
When Johnson and Johnson got approval for their latest contribution and addition to the global Wuhan Coronavirus vaccine arsenal, while explaining how their rollout plans would lean on the help of manufacturing facilities at another pharmaceutical company’s plant, Joe Biden wasted no time taking credit for the news.
Too bad the timeline that Johnson and Johnson themselves gave a story that directly conflicts with Biden’s administration’s showboating, putting the credit somewhere else entirely.
First, the announcement.
In the unlikely event that you haven’t already heard, Johnson and Johnson has now gotten approval for their version of the Covid vaccine, and is rolling out production. In addition to that, they have made arrangements with several other companies, including MERK, to help them meet the enormous global production demands.
Here’s how Team Biden framed the announcement…
President Biden announced today that his Administration has helped forge a historic manufacturing collaboration between two of the largest U.S. health care and pharmaceutical companies, Merck and Johnson & Johnson (J&J), to expand production of J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine. The collaboration will increase manufacture of vaccine drug substance, as well as its fill-finish capacity – two of the biggest bottlenecks facing J&J in the production of its vaccine.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will collaborate with Merck to repurpose some of its existing Merck facilities for rapid large-scale manufacturing of vaccines and therapeutics for use in public health emergencies including the current pandemic. The facilities will be available to private sector partners working with the federal government on the COVID-19 response or to produce Merck products against COVID-19. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, part of Johnson & Johnson, will be the first federal partner to use repurposed Merck facilities to manufacture COVID-19 vaccine. Merck will use two of its facilities to produce drug substance, formulate and fill vials of J&J’s vaccine.
Consistent with the Administration’s mission to ensure that the United States has sufficient long term sustainable capacity to manufacture vaccines, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), will leverage the Defense Production Act to provide an initial investment of $105 million in funding for Merck, at the Administration’s request, to convert, upgrade and equip Merck facilities to the standards necessary to safely manufacture the vaccine. The company will address all the necessary qualification and validation activities needed for the facilities to be used for large-scale manufacturing.
Almost sounds like they were plugging away on their own until Team Joe swooped in to their rescue, doesn’t it?
Let’s visit the Johnson and Johnson website, shall we? (Thanks to a J&J employee for calling in to Mark Levin’s show wich prompted this visit to their website.)
Getting COVID-19 vaccines to people around the world. It’s hard to think of anything else right now, and it’s something that’s been top of mind at Johnson & Johnson since early last year, when the novel coronavirus was just beginning to spread.
As Johnson & Johnson begins shipping its Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine this week in the U.S., after receiving authorization for Emergency Use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)*, you may be wondering: What does it really take to get to this point?
The short answer: nearly a year of meticulous planning and preparation, which has included seeking out manufacturing partners to help boost capabilities, as well as repurposing existing distribution facilities and technologies.
Ok, right off the bat, we are reminded that this final step is the last of a series of steps going back a year, when Team Joe had exactly ZERO input into this process.
What else did they have to say?
This unprecedented speed has been made possible due to extensive and unprecedented collaborations and partnerships with governments, regulatory authorities and the scientific community around the world, as well as the company’s ability to streamline the production process based on past experience with vaccine development.
That was back in March. Partnerships with WHICH governments do you suppose they meant? Continuing on…
The first step in preparing to supply a vaccine worldwide: activating manufacturing capabilities.
…”We have a lot of experience,” Colarusso says. “But we knew the scale here was so big that we couldn’t do everything ourselves. It’s essential to look to partners.”
So, in April, the company announced a collaboration with its first manufacturing partner, Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., based in Maryland.
Between then and March 2021, Johnson & Johnson announced collaborations with four more U.S. partners—Catalent, Inc., in Indiana; Michigan-based Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing (GRAM); PCI and Merck in Pennsylvania—as well as Reig Jofre in Spain, a Catalent facility in Italy, Biological E Limited in India, ASPEN Pharmacare in South Africa and Sanofi Pasteur in France.
Johnson & Johnson hopes to have partnerships with a total of 10 manufacturing plants by the end of 2021.
So… you mean to say the plan has always been to ramp up production and bring other manufacturing plants onboard for this project? That plan was established in April of 2020 and is progressing on schedule, with others to be added between now and the end of 2021? How interesting. Did President Joe have a hand in helping them develop that plan back in April of 2020?
But Joe helped with MERK! Ok, fine. But did he do something substantially different from what the same government agencies did with other companies under Warp Speed?
Kinda sounds a lot like this announcement, does it not?
The agreement between AstraZeneca and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the HHS office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, will accelerate the development and manufacturing of the company’s investigational vaccine to begin Phase 3 clinical studies this summer with approximately 30,000 volunteers in the United States.
Under this public-private partnership, BARDA can provide up to $1.2 billion to support, in parallel, advanced clinical studies, vaccine manufacturing technology transfer, process development, scaled-up manufacturing, and other development activities. Emergency use authorization or licensure of this vaccine from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would be required to make the vaccine available. Early milestones enable BARDA and AstraZeneca to determine how the program progresses forward.
“This contract with AstraZeneca is a major milestone in Operation Warp Speed’s work toward a safe, effective, widely available vaccine by 2021,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “Getting a vaccine to the American public as soon as possible is one part of President Trump’s multi-faceted strategy for safely reopening our country and bringing life back to normal, which is essential to Americans’ physical and mental well-being in so many ways. The Trump Administration is making multiple major investments in developing and manufacturing promising vaccines long before they’re approved so that a successful vaccine will reach the American people without a day wasted.” — HHS
Nor was AstraZeneca an outlier. The same BARDA that is funding MERK in this announcement was busy doing the same thing elsewhere. Notice the word ‘manufacturing’ in that first line.
AZD1222 is the fourth vaccine candidate to receive BARDA support for late-state development and manufacturing. BARDA continues to collaborate through Operation Warp Speed with other federal agencies and private industry to develop and make available vaccines, treatments and diagnostic tests to combat COVID-19. To date, BARDA is supporting 32 medical products for the pandemic response; in addition to the four vaccine candidates, these products include seven treatments, 17 diagnostic tests, a test to screen donated blood for the virus, and two rapidly deployable technologies to aid health providers with early detection of sepsis in COVID-19 patients. — HHS
Even Bloomberg reported on Project Warp Speed in the early days, as a Manhattan Project. Notice how Fauci the wise and powerful said it couldn’t be done… and how the actual results compared to the ‘best case scenario’:
The project’s goal is to have 300 million doses of vaccine available by January, according to one administration official. There is no precedent for such rapid development of a vaccine.
…President Donald Trump’s top medical advisers, led by the infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci, have repeatedly said that a coronavirus vaccine won’t be ready for 12 to 18 months at best. Until then, White House guidelines envision some economically damaging social-distancing practices maintained even as the U.S. begins to resume a more normal social and business life.
…The project will cost billions of dollars, one of the people said. And it will almost certainly result in significant waste by making inoculations at scale before knowing if they’ll be safe and effective — meaning that vaccines that fail will be useless. But it could mean having doses of vaccine available for the American public by the end of this year, instead of by next summer. —Bloomberg, April 29,2020
But Merk wasn’t geting BARDA funding until Biden stepped in, right?
Not quite accurate. J&J already was, for sure. And because of Project Warp Speed, Merk was getting it for other Coronavirus interventions
Which brings us to this announcement from J&J…
This month, the U.S. government also announces a partnership between Johnson & Johnson and Merck, which will produce drug substance, as well as formulate and fill vials of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine.
A keen observer will notice that this announcement for production followed AFTER the approval for emergency use. Until that approval, it was too soon to make such a move in recruiting other production resources for the ramp-up of manufacturing.
With what we’ve seen of Project Warp Speed, does anyone really believe a different approach would have been made had this vaccine been approved in, say, December of 2020?
Of course not.
As some of the participants in Warp Speed have commented publicly, Biden scrapped the name ‘Project Warp Speed’, but they can’t see any real changes where he has somehow revamped and improved the overall strategy. So far as they could tell, it’s more of the same, with a different branding label on it.
This is why we know better than to look to politicians to save us. There’s only ever been one place to look for that:
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