Last night in the Republican Primary debate, NewsNation’s Megyn Kelly asked the presidential hopefuls whether Donald Trump was right to be proud of Operation Warp Speed, which brought the mRNA Covid vaccines to market in record time. Here’s a transcript of what was said.
Megyn Kelly: Through Operation Warp Speed, the Trump Administration and private industry developed a Covid vaccine in record time. The programme protected vaccine companies from virtually all lawsuits over vaccine injuries. The Government has a programme to compensate victims from such harm but critics say it is a black hole of bureaucracy: 12,000 claims filed, 10% decided, and only eight payouts so far, in a forum with no right to a counsel, no hearings, no appeals.
Mr. Trump says he is very proud of Warp Speed. Should he be?
Vivek Ramaswamy: This question on liability goes back actually to Reagan. Reagan is a President who I admire. Many of us do. I think that reviving that spirit is going to be in many ways good for this country, in so many ways. But one of the areas where he erred was this special form of lobbying to say that one kind of manufacturer, a vaccine manufacturer, cannot be sued for its product liability. So I have pledged, and it is part of my legislative agenda, we will repeal
that, just like we will repeal every other form of crony capitalism.
People who have been harmed by those vaccines deserve accountability. They cannot be forgotten Americans. And I think one of the top lessons we learned from that Covid pandemic is that free speech in this country is most important in those alleged times of emergency. If we had been allowed to openly debate the merits of those vaccines they would have never been mandated in the way that they were.
In general, I don’t think we want capitalism and democracy to share the same bed anymore. It’s time for a clean divorce. Let companies be companies but I don’t like the crony capitalism. This dates back a long time in both parties.
And I think that we need to end the lobbying, and I personally believe that if you have been working in the Government, you should not lobby that Government for 10 years. If you have been a Government elected official, doing deals with companies, be they Boeing or be they pharmaceutical companies, you should not join the board of that company for 10 years after.
The former chairman of the FDA, the Commissioner of the FDA, ended up on the board of Pfizer. Nikki Haley did deals for Boeing and ends up on the board of Boeing. I don’t care if it is a Republican or Democrat, we need some basic principles that end the corruption in Government. That’s how we got the health insurance exemptions. That’s how we got the pharmaceutical liability exemptions. We need to end the corruption.
Ron DeSantis: We need a reckoning for what this Government did during COVID-19. That includes the mRNA shots. They put it out, it was experimental, and people wanted it, then the Government started trying to mandate it. To say you don’t have a right to put food on your table if you don’t take an mRNA shot that was under emergency use? They tried to take nurses away.
Now, in Florida, we blocked that. We provided protections for everybody so that they wouldn’t lose their job.
You also have the FDA approving an mRNA shot for six month old babies. There was no data to support that. They are doing it because Big Pharma will make money.
So I’m going to go in there – CDC, NIH, FDA – we are going to clean house. There is going to be a reckoning. Right now, nobody has been held accountable for any of the damage. They are going to try to do it again. When I’m President, this will never happen to our country ever again.