Update (Nov 13, 2020): During a press briefing this afternoon Donald Trump continued to perpetuate the story of Pfizer being a project of Operation Warp Speed. Vice President Mike Pence later stated he commends "the Operation Warp Speed team for developing a safe and effective vaccine for the American people."
Yesterday, Ivanka Trump tweeted the news of 90% efficacy in Pfizer and BioNTech's BNT162 mRNA-based vaccine to combat COVID-19. She then made the bold assertion the company's success could be credited to the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed.
Vice President Mike Pence also tweeted in a congratulatory tone toward the president,
However vice president of Pfizer Kathrin Jansen was quick to point out the tweet did not reflect the truth, saying to the New York Times
We were never part of the Warp Speed....We have never taken any money from the U.S. government, or from anyone.
As we reported in July on the day Pfizer made the announcement, OWS's agreement constitutes a purchase agreement, not a funding of research and development. The agreement is one of distribution, not development. No funding actually took place between the U.S. and Pfizer for their vaccine and would only take place upon completion and approval. Pfizer intends to make more vaccines than those in OWS's agreement because other countries have made similar purchase agreements. We reported on Canada being one such country back in August.
The Washington Post and Forbes have also posted in response to the misleading declarations. According to the Washington Post, OWS did fund the R&D of several manufacturers, however Pfizer was not on the list.
The Department of Health and Human Services website makes the distinction clear. In March, HHS gave $456 million to Johnson & Johnson as it pushed to find a vaccine. In April, it gave $483 million to Moderna. In May, it announced that it would provide up to $1.2 billion to AstraZeneca’s effort.
Then, in late July, that agreement with Pfizer, described by the company as an agreement to “begin delivering 300 million doses of a vaccine for COVID-19 in 2021.”
After a dissenting response, Ivanka Trump responded to Doctor and Editor-in-Chief of Physician's Weekly Dr. Linda Girgis making the case for OWS's success in the development of the vaccine.