WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released a new report urging the Trump Administration to take immediate action to ensure eventual Coronavirus vaccines will be safe, effective, free and widely available to all Americans. Peters’ report found that the Administration’s political interference in vaccine development is eroding public trust in eventual vaccines, and that the Administration is falling short with its plans to account for racial disparities, ensure states have sufficient resources for vaccine distribution, and ensure Americans can access vaccines without out-of-pocket costs. Once approved, vaccines will be a vital step toward reducing the spread of the virus.
“Safe and effective vaccines that are widely available, free and trusted by the American people will be essential to limiting the spread of the Coronavirus,” said Senator Peters. “The Trump Administration must take urgent action to ensure that once vaccines are developed and approved, the federal government can quickly and effectively distribute it to all of our communities, including those who have been hardest hit like seniors and communities of color.”
Peters continued: “We have an obligation to ensure that Americans trust Coronavirus vaccines will be safe and effective, and the Administration’s continued political interference at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration have only eroded the public’s confidence. As Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Committee, I will continue pushing the Administration to ensure that the development and approval of Coronavirus vaccines is rooted in transparency and science so that the public can have faith the vaccines will be safe, effective and available to everyone.”
READ THE FULL REPORT: “Road to Recovery: Administration Must Build Public Trust and Ensure Safe, Effective, and Free Coronavirus Vaccines”
The report’s key findings include:
- The Trump Administration’s politicization of the COVID-19 response and failure to provide clear, consistent, and evidence-based information has eroded public trust in eventual COVID-19 vaccines.
- The Trump Administration has failed to provide states with sufficient amounts of critical supplies needed to combat COVID-19.
- COVID-19 has disproportionately affected communities of color, but the Administration’s plans do not adequately account for these disparities.
- The Administration’s plans do not sufficiently address how vaccine distribution will be funded.
- COVID-19 vaccines should be provided free of charge to all Americans. However, the Trump Administration has not been transparent about whether some individuals will have to pay for the vaccines.
The report makes key recommendations to ensure potential vaccines are trusted by the public and available to all who want it, including:
- The Administration must immediately commit to and enact full transparency in the vaccine development, approval, and distribution processes.
- Science, not politics, must drive the release of COVID-19 vaccines. The Administration must immediately stop its political interference in the vaccine authorization process so that vaccines will be safe, effective, and trusted by all Americans.
- The CDC should release a detailed plan to address racial disparities in vaccine distribution.
- The Trump Administration must ensure every community in the country has the resources needed for equitable vaccine distribution.
- The Administration must take swift action to invest in the critical supplies necessary to combat COVID-19 and plan for longer-term investments in domestic advanced manufacturing of these supplies.
- Congress and the Administration must ensure that vaccines are available free of cost to every individual and that pharmaceutical companies are held accountable.
As Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Peters has called on the Administration to ensure the Coronavirus vaccine process is rooted in science and transparency and that its distribution is efficient, swift and equitable. Peters urged the Trump Administration to take swift action to ensure there is a sufficient supply of syringes and needles needed to quickly immunize millions of Americans once Coronavirus vaccines are authorized for distribution. This month, Peters also led 29 of his colleagues in calling for an independent investigation into allegations of political interference at the nation’s top public health agencies.