Dr. Kesslers’ Expertise, Experience is Needed at Operation Warp Speed

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President-elect Joe Biden has chosen Dr. David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed. Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, and Sidney Wolfe, founder and senior adviser of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, released the following statements:

“Most of the research-based advocacy Public Citizen’s Health Research Group has done for the past 49 years involves the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Of the 15 Commissioners I have dealt with during that interval, Dr. David Kessler was as successfully focused on the crucial public health impact of the agency as any other commissioner.

“His selection as chief advisor of Operation Warp Speed importantly matches his public health skills with the greatest international public health crisis of our lifetime, the coronavirus pandemic. The necessary interface between Operation Warp Speed and the FDA will benefit under his leadership as will the entire process of development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostic tests.”

– Sidney Wolfe, founder and senior adviser of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group

“The nation and the world need someone of Dr. Kessler’s caliber to deal with the remaining, colossal, challenges with coronavirus vaccines: to ensure expedited deployment in the U.S., and to massively increase production to enable rapid vaccination in developing countries.

“It is crucial that Operation Warp Speed leverage its investments, relationships and authority to develop U.S. governmental manufacturing capacity and to facilitate sharing of vaccine technology and know-how with all qualified manufacturers around the world. The alternative is far too horrible to tolerate.”

– Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen