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Dr. Joyce OpEd: Innovation Brings Hope to Horizon

ALTOONA, PA - Today, Congressman John Joyce, M.D. highlighted the promise of American innovation and new progress in Americans' pursuit of a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine.  Read his full op-ed in the Altoona Mirror. 
Altoona Mirror
Innovation brings hope to the horizon  
Congressman John Joyce, M.D. 
November 21, 2020

For centuries, America has been the land of promise, and we have led the way in lifesaving advancement. In the span of my own medical career alone, I have witnessed remarkable innovation — from groundbreaking discoveries to new therapeutics and even cures for deadly diseases.

In 2020, America’s scientists and researchers once again stepped up to meet a new challenge. As the COVID-19 virus interrupted our lives this spring, our incredible science community already was working on therapeutics and a vaccine. In just a few short months, we went from having nearly zero information about this virus to finding novel treatments for it.

As our nation continues to combat the coronavirus pandemic, we recognize that a safe and effective vaccine is the key to defeating the virus and getting Americans safely back to work, school and play. Here’s the good news: We are on track to deliver real results in record time.

This week, Pfizer announced that its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and 95 percent effective in late-stage trials. Likewise, Moderna announced its vaccine is nearly 95 percent effective in early analysis. This cutting-edge innovation is a testament to the ingenuity and excellence of America’s top scientists and researchers — and it also is a tribute to America’s unique ability to drive innovative results.

Thanks to our health care heroes and to the public-private partnership spurred by Operation Warp Speed, our nation is positioned to develop and distribute a safe and effective vaccine more efficiently than any other country in the world.

As part of this historic undertaking, coronavirus vaccines are being developed by private companies with the same safety and efficacy standards as any other vaccine — but under Operation Warp Speed, vaccines are simultaneously being produced so that as soon as a safe and effective option is cleared, it’s ready to go.

Thanks to President Donald Trump and Operation Warp Speed, a miracle
is coming — but it’s not here yet. As we wait for a safe and effective vaccine to be authorized and distributed, the coronavirus remains an ever-present threat to the American people and to our economy.

During this crisis, Americans have stepped up and done their part to combat this virus. In the face of this pandemic, I have
been awed and motivated by Pennsylvanians’ care and commitment to one another and to our community.

As cases of COVID-19 continue to climb in Pennsylvania and around the country, we must stand firm against this invisible enemy. We must remain vigilant and do our part to stop the spread of this virus and to protect our families and neighbors.

By taking commonsense steps to stop the spread of the virus today, we can secure a more prosperous future for our commonwealth and our nation. This is a shared fight to save lives and livelihoods.

Tyrannical shutdowns are not the answer.

We can mitigate the risks of this pandemic without further harming the economy or killing jobs, and I will keep fighting to support Pennsylvania families, workers and small businesses to ensure that they can weather this storm.

This year, Americans have faced and overcome trials like never before. Together, we will defeat this virus, rebuild our economy and restore our communities.

Thanks to the success and promise of American innovation, there is hope on the horizon.

Read Dr. Joyce's full op-ed in the Altoona Mirror.

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