Senators call for hearing on defense department’s role in Operation Warp Speed

Katie Adams –
Tuesday, October 27th, 2020
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2 members of the Senate Armed Services Committee composed a letter prompting the committee to hold a hearing on the U.S. Department of Defenses role in Operation Warp Speed, the White House task force to develop and disperse a safe and reliable COVID-19 vaccine.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, sent the letter to the committees chairman, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., and its ranking member, Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I..

” There might well be an important role for DoD authorities in OWS– especially given the departments logistical capability,” Ms. Warren and Ms. Hirono wrote. The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee has actually held two hearings with administration authorities from FDA, CDC, and other public health companies. The Committee ought to similarly hear from DoD officials about their function in OWS.”.

The letter, dated Oct. 23, requires a Senate hearing needing officials from the defense department answer questions about how the department is dispersing congressionally appropriated funds for Operation Warp Speed through contacts and procurement. The senators allege the department might be granting contracts in a way that eschews clouds and policies transparency.

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In their letter, the senators express issue about the chart in addition to a current NPR report that says the defense department has actually awarded more than $6 billion of Operation Warp Speeds contracts through defense professional Advanced Technologies International. The senators stated that having Advanced Technologies International contract with drugmakers dealing with COVID-19 vaccines helps the defense department prevent conference regulative requirements.

The letter comes less than a month after STAT acquired an organizational chart of Operation Warp Speeds leaders that exposed about two-thirds of the programs leaders are used by the U.S. Department of Defense.

” There may well be an important role for DoD officials in OWS– particularly provided the departments logistical capability,” Ms. Warren and Ms. Hirono wrote. “But it is very important that Congress carry out suitable oversight of, and comprehend, DoDs activities in this area. The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee has actually held two hearings with administration authorities from FDA, CDC, and other public health agencies. The Committee should similarly hear from DoD officials about their function in OWS.”.

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