tv Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Holds Coronavirus Briefing CSPAN December 14, 2020 2:08am-2:54am EST
president of the united states. he has gotten a lot of votes from a lot of people and he has mastered the communications network that influences our internet democracy in a way no one else has. if you wants to be a factor, he will be. >> you do not sound enthusiastic about that. >> i answered your question. i think he is entitled to do that. he has lots to say. >> the governor of washington give an update on the vaccine. it began shipping around the country earlier today.
the workgroup comprised of experts from washington, oregon, california, nevada have been meeting to review the data and the analysis that has been released by the centers or disease control. we know that after months of , we can this virus begin to use this vaccine against the virus. and add to our totals that we have been using. this cannot come soon enough. is closing in. we are approaching the loss of
thousands of people to this disease. ising this vaccine tremendous news for estate. we granted the initial authorization for this vaccine. am pleased to announce that our western states workgroup gave our unanimous recommendation to the vaccine last night. they communicated that to me this morning. that group is encouraging the immediate use of this vaccine. have expertise in and biostatistics and formic political sciences and epidemiology and we appreciate their efforts.
washingtonians can begin to receive this vaccine in a safe fashion. as you know, because there have been some questions raised about the federal approval process, our state and the other states stood up an independent process so we can give an added layer of assurance to washingtonians that this was on the up and up, that we follow the standards, and we have a safe and secure vaccine. these experts, after review, advised me that the fda followed its usual process, as it normally would in reviewing a vaccine for emergency authorization. this is reassuring to me and i hope to others, to start down the road to recover from this pandemic. vaccine doses we hope will be arriving tomorrow in the state and we hope the administration will begin as soon as tuesday. vaccinations will begin in our health care studies to our heroic health care workers who are most at risk to transmit the disease or receive the disease, and also to our folks in our long-term care facilities and folks in our tribal communities. health systems and local public health departments have been working hard to prepare for this vaccine and we appreciate their efforts both local and in our state efforts. it is a crucial moment, we have been waiting for months for this blessing, and it marks a turning point in this disease. we know we have a long way to go. so the first good news today is the arrival of this vaccine.
after we hear from the physicians and experts about the vaccine, i will talk about the second piece of good news i have as well. i myself, i will receive this vaccine when it is my turn to do so, regarding my age and health conditions, so when it is appropriate. the first doses are going to these health care workers who have stepped into the front line of battle and shown their courage in the face of this deadly disease. also to our long-term care residents who we know have unfortunately been such a high percentage of our losses have been to our long-term care residents. that decision is the right one. we are proud to make a good decision in that regard. it is important to note that as it is across the united states, it will take months before vaccinations are available to everyone who may want it. we are all looking for some uplifting news and this is uplifting news. it certainly should give us hope
for the future. i'm joined by doctors, our washington experts on the western states scientific safety review workgroup. i would like to turn to dr. wolfie for her comments. >> thank you, good morning, everyone. that decision to authorize the use of covid-19 vaccine is incredibly -- and incredibly exciting milestone in this pandemic. the news is coming at a time when covid-19 activity is higher than it has ever been in our state. this morning, more than 1000 washington residents with covid-19 and our hospitals, our hospitals are stressed taking care of patients with and without covid, and health care workers are exhausted. we know it has been challenging to control the spread of covid-19 this fall and it will continue to be a challenge over the next couple months, so i am thrilled that we have a new tool in our toolbox.
fda's decision to authorize the use of the vaccine and i support the use of this vaccine in washington state. the process followed by the fda and cdc to make these decisions has been transparent and scientifically rigorous. i believe without any reservations that the benefits of this vaccine far exceed any risks. i do plan to get vaccinated as soon as i am eligible. with that, i will turn it back over to you, governor.
gov. inslee: thank you. >> thank you, governor. as was mentioned, our workgroup was tasked with assessing the safety and efficacy of the vaccine from pfizer that we were planning to use in our state. the doctor and i concurred that that vaccine is both safe and effective. i think it's benefits greatly outweigh any potential risks. there are side effects associated with this vaccine as there are with any other. the ones we saw in the studies were transient and comparable to the side effects we see after administration of other currently licensed vaccines.
the clinical trial did not show signs of any other major unanticipated adverse effects that were linked to the vaccine. the trials demonstrated that the vaccine is 95% effective at preventing symptomatic covid-19 disease, which is terrific by any measure and excites us all. the efficacy was tied across different ages and different racial and ethnic groups. on a personal note, i would echo what has been said before, my line of work brings me into contact with covid, so does the fact that i am a resident of washington state and encounter people in the community. having reviewed the data, i can say i am looking forward to being vaccinated as soon i am eligible. gov. inslee: thank you. could you get a word of your expertise in this regard?
>> relevant to this committee, i have a background working on vaccine safety studies over at kaiser permanente and my background is also in doing what we call systematic evidence reviews for the united states preventive services task force, looking at studies, determining whether they are well done, and determining whether the conclusions that they reached are warranted by the data that they have. gov. inslee: thank you. dr. mark u. >> most important, our work included that the processes that were followed by the fda and cdc committees adhered completely to their high standards of transparency, objectivity, and evidence-based decision-making, it was comparable to the other licensing vaccine reviews by these committees that i have participated in over the past decade and i might add that that process was the gold standard for the world in reviewing vaccines.
the difference between what we do in the united kingdom is the united kingdom licenses on the basis of review of the manufacturers' data alone. in this country, we require that the data be reviewed independently by the fda career staff and our review committee had the opportunity to review the data in two separate analyses. the process that was followed was absolutely rigorous. we think the systems are now in place to confirm the safety of the vaccine as we go forward.
it is of paramount importance to gain and sustain public confidence in the acceptance of this vaccine and i too look forward to when my name comes up. gov. inslee: in a good way. can you tell us your background? we should have given you a better introduction. >> i am a pediatrician, i have had the privilege of being involved in vaccine work for over 50 years. i served on player committees, the advisory committee on immunization practices of cdc, the fda's work on vaccines and biological products review committee, and as a member and chair of the national vaccine advisory committee. i have spent a total of 34 years on those committees.
gov. inslee: could you briefly describe what the committee did, when it started its work before you reached this conclusion? >> we began 10 days ago. we immediately worked out what our processes would be. it was a 17 member group with diverse expertise. nine or 10 members have all past experience on these advisory committees, although they are independent admissions. we had access to the data, the data the manufacturer submitted, and we then, many of us observed virtually the meeting, the fda meeting, then our committee met after each of those meetings and reviewed the data and discussed each point. so it was an exhaustive process.
gov. inslee: i appreciate your work. you're not getting rich doing this, this is a volunteer group, is that right? >> totally. [laughter] gov. inslee: thank you. you will get your reward for doing this great work. i want to thank you because i think folks know that we stood up in these states come out independent review group, and the reason was there was some concern that somehow politics would intrude in the scientific assessment of this and i am thrilled to say, and i have not
been, as folks know, shy about criticizing the federal government for the past several years, but it is really a happy event that we can say that the fda, cdc did their job in this case without political intrusion into the scientific decision-making and not only that, but this western state group has confirmed that. i think this is really a gold seal of approval from the state of washington in our own expertise and i believe this is going to be helpful in giving people confidence, which is necessary to the success of this vaccination program. when we reach that golden day when we are returning to normal, you will deserve our thanks so we appreciate this committee helping us down the road to success of this vaccine. thank you very much. we have talked about the first piece of good news. we have a second piece of good news this morning, because we
know that with this vaccine, our challenges are not at an end. we know it will be months until everyone will be vaccinated who will want the vaccine, so we have more work to do. i want to paraphrase churchill, who said that this is not the end, this is not even the beginning of the end, it is the end of the beginning. but here is the great news. we now know that there will be an end to this turmoil and trauma and challenge. there will be an end because we know that this vaccine is going to work both to prevent deaths of covid-19 and to be safe in its administration. we now have, in view, the end of this pandemic. what we also know is that this is not the end today, we have more work to do to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
is we havews demonstrated in the state of washington that we have the courage and resilience and diligence and compassion for our families to actually protect ourselves in this time. maskse demonstrated using , business owners acting in consideration of hygiene. we have demonstrated and how we have celebrated holidays and how we socialize with people. by avoiding inside events where transmission can occur. to marryhat it takes the genius of science with our own individual behavior to see us through.
we have to exercise diligence. i liken this to being on a ship. we know we can see the port. we can see the safe harbor in due with this vaccine. but we're not there yet. and it is not a moment to jump ship. we see safety on the horizon. but we have to get to that safe harbor together with a minimal loss-of-life. we know we can do it. we have been doing great things in the state of washington. i want to thank everyone who is pulling on this rope. our safety measures will continue for the months to come. with increasing confidence that are commitments have added values. these are the good things. we know the end is in sight. raten slow this infection
if we keep up this fight. today and in a few months to come. seasono into the holiday , i want to thank all washingtonians who figured out a way to celebrate thanksgiving thankfully -- safely. thatational study showed washington led the nation in families who decided to celebrate thanksgiving in a safe way. now we are heading atop other holidays. something that i want to reference. they talked about the season we are entering into. how celebrating the season in a safeway, which might be different, was a good idea. so we could all return to our normal way of celebrating the holiday next year.
if i can paraphrase, this is a year to recognize the original purpose of the season. to celebrate peace and quietude and the love of families. and i think if we do that, we are going to save a lot of lives in culmination with this vaccine. and we know this. this is the giftgiving season. and we know that the best gift any of us can give is the gift of health. that gift now, i hope washingtonians want to give to everyone around them. families and otherwise. so this is a great day for a vaccine, but it is also a great day to celebrate what we have internally in our own hearts, which is our own commitment to to save people's lives in the upcoming months. i would like to thank everyone in the washington state department of health for their tireless efforts, for implementing this undertaking, i have been involved in regular
briefings, and i can tell you they have been working day and night. leading the effort has been michelle roberts who is available for questions, by the way today. , and with that, i would like to stand for questions and the doctors and michelle are also available for questions. >> up first we will go to sarah, with mclatchy. reporter: thank you. this is for the doctors. there is a paragraph in your letter to governors about uncertainty around this. such as the duration of the vaccines protection and its safety for pregnant women. how are you thinking about that uncertainty? and how should individuals interpret that uncertainty in the midst of all of this excitement? >> i think the best way to interpret uncertainty is not as problem, but simply as things that we have not determined yet. what you bring up are all things that are being investigated as part of the study that is being
done. and it should be emphasized that these studies are ongoing. the fact that the vaccine has been authorized for emergency use right now does not in any way mean that any of those should stop. all of the studies that are being done on this and on other vaccines are going to continue until all of the data that they want to collect is available. for specific situations, think the fact that for example, we do not necessarily know what this vaccine means as far as transmission of asymptomatic disease or other things like that. this underscores what governor inslee said earlier, which is that, at the immediate moment, while we have a vaccine and this is a huge step forward, we still need to be adhering to the basics that we have been using for the last close to a year now at this point. masking, social distancing,
minimizing large gatherings, etc. that is going to be important until we really have a much more developed knowledge about what this vaccine will and will not do. dr. marcuse: with regard to the duration of immunity, the studies show a high degree of immunity following immunization, and indeed, the levels that were detected in the blood samples were greater than those following infection. so there is every reason to believe that this vaccine will provide durable immunity. whether that turns out to be six months, a year, two years, it is too soon to tell. with regard to pregnant women, there is extensive discussion at the acip, particularly about that issue.
we don't simply have enough data yet to have confidence that there is no reason to withhold a vaccine from a pregnant woman who wishes to receive it. gov. inslee: folks don't know that acronym. dr. marcuse: advisory community on immunization practices. gov. inslee: thank you. >> all right. up next, we will go to austin jenkins with the northwest news network. go ahead, austin. reporter: can you hear me? >> yes, go ahead. reporter: good, amazing. a question also about other groups of people who may be wary at this, in particular, people of color and marginalized communities who have historically been wary about vaccines, for very good reason. and also children, especially in light of the fact that most kids are not in school today.
gov. inslee: doctors, do you want to address the children issue? dr. marcuse: at this time, this vaccine has been authorized for individuals from age 16. we need now to carry out studies to look at its efficacy and safety under that age group. gov. inslee: the issue about confidence with communities of color, one of the things that i was impressed with is the focus on equity in this investigation. and i think it has been demonstrated that the trials did focus on equity to make sure that there was not some unanticipated or unexpected result to any particular ethnic group. and that was really important. and it looks like they have fulfilled that mandate.
we will be sharing -- look, the role of government at this point is to share scientific information with the communities. our state department of health will be having a vigorous communication effort to share the scientific information with all communities, of all ethnicities. we know that historically, there have been great concerns in communities of color about some of the really sorrowful incidents that happened in the decades past. but i think, at least the evidence i've shown or seen, that there is safety throughout throughout ethnic groups. and we will simply share that information in as open and as transparent possible, while still recognizing some of the terrible things that happen in ed in decades past. but i'm hopeful that the understandable concern from those decades of experience does not infect us with the disease of passivity and more people lose their lives.
we do know that communities of color have been, which is a terrible misfortune, had great disparate rates of loss. the loss of folks in the hispanic community and the black community of fatalities have significantly exceeded the portion of the population they represent. so, the communities of color may have more at stake, in some sense, than other communities because they have suffered so terribly because of the disparities in where people were, and access to health care. so we are really hopeful that we have broadscale acceptance of ins to save these folks these communities, to not allow the sins of the past to result in increased rates of vitality -- rates of fatality in these communities. and we will be sharing as much information as we can with them. >> all right. up next, we will go to jim
canton with the spokane review. reporter: yes, i'm wondering what the priority is going to be for receiving the vaccine beyond health care workers and people in long-term care facilities. will the state set up a system where a person might be able to determine when he or she might be eligible for the vaccine? gov. inslee: what is happening is we are awaiting some further federal guidance. the national groups will make some recommendations about priority decisions going forward. we are waiting to hear from those before we make our own decisions. those decisions have not been made today. when they are made, obviously we will share them with the public so people can have some sense of where they might be in this queue. these are not easy decisions. as you can imagine. there are all kinds of countervailing suggestions based on our washington values of how to go about this. and we will be listening to recommendations of the federal
government first, then we will be making those more finite decisions. when we do, yes, there will be , as much as we can, a way to convey to washingtonians what sort of circumstances will lead you to be eligible. >> all right. up next, we will go to deborah horn with channel 7. reporter: thank you. thank you to all of the participants. i wanted to ask a question about the fact that it is not just people of color, governor, and others who are opposed to the vaccine, there are groups known, one of them is the seattle truth network, and one of the things they are talking about is, will employers be able to force their employees to take this vaccine?
so what measures can be done, if people say, i don't want to take it, for whatever their reason, they don't want to take the vaccine. what protections will there be for them? gov. inslee: my understanding, we do not have a specific statute that addresses that issue at the moment. that could change. right now we are depending on people's voluntary decisions to protect themselves and their loved ones. i have to say, having a look at this really extensive review of multiple scientific authorities, based on the genius of science, and this has been the genius of science -- look, this was an incredible event to develop a vaccine in this length of time. and now, having multiple filters, if you will, of scientific inquiry, including the fda, the cdc, multiple committees, and now our own you got to-
understand, i have been as questioning and un-trustful of this administration as may be anyone in the country. so i have been very diligent in making sure that we look at every single decision coming through this through the lens of skepticism, to some degree. i have been, in some sense, healthily skeptical. but what we have demonstrated is that there is scientific certainty about the safety of this product. and we are relying upon washingtonians' commitment to following science and truth. and the truth is in the science. it is not in our fears. the science, i'm hopeful, will give people great confidence. we are a scientifically oriented state. and building software and biotechnology and airplanes, look, it was our motors that has taken the spacecraft to mars , because we followed science. right now, we are depending on the voluntary decisions, by washingtonians to marry science with the love of the people
around them. those are two powerful forces. both are important right now. >> all right. up next we will go to nick. reporter: hi, governor. thanks so much for taking our questions today. i was curious, you mentioned vigorous communication efforts that is going to be underway for the next few months, i was wondering what that might look like over the next few weeks and months as we get people getting the vaccine and others waiting on it? >> [indiscernible] gov. inslee: i'm sorry? >> [indiscernible] gov. inslee: jack and michelle? do you want -- >> sure. thank you for this question. we want to make sure every person in washington has accurate information about this vaccine, and hears about it in multiple ways. we will be doing lots of different strategies to share that information. we will have commercials and media information out there.
we will have different advertising. we have roundtables coming up this week with different external experts, different doctors and others to share information about the vaccine. doing those types of events in different languages so people have an opportunity to hear from experts, hear the science, ask questions they have. we also are going to make sure all the health care providers who will be counseling patients on when it is their turn to get this vaccine, that they have good information and they are prepared and ready for those conversations. gov. inslee: i would add, one of the reasons our state has been relatively successful, as you know, today, according to the newspapers, we have a lower known infection rate, probably better than 45 other states. and we think one of the reasons is because we have been very assertive in our communication efforts. if you are watching tv lately, you have seen multiple advertisements about this.
you can anticipate seeing more about the vaccine now that we have a vaccine. we have done it in multiple languages, to make sure everyone has access. and we are using trusted advisors in communities to have people who actually understand the communities. that is one of the reasons that i think we have been successful. so that will continue in regard to this vaccine. >> up next we will go to sarah gensler for a follow-up question. reporter: hi, this is for michelle too. , i'm looking for more specifics on the first doses. estimated doses 63,000 of the vaccine will come in the initial allocation and then expect a total of 222,000 by the end of the month. health officials have said there is an estimated 300,000 high-risk health care workers in the state. so will all of these 222,000 doses go to health care workers initially? or will some of these go to the long-term health care facilities
and tribal communities that the governor mentioned? sec. roberts: go ahead, governor. gov. inslee: the number 300,000 isn't necessarily those at the highest risk. what we are doing is having the medical organizations identify those who are at the highest risk. these are people who do intubation's, who work routinely with covid positive patients, so that term has been a little bit misunderstood in that regard. sec. roberts: the other piece i will add is that these initial doses, the 62,000 you mentioned, is going to reach around 40 facilities in 29 counties. one pharmacy serving long-term care facilities across the state, two tribal nations, and one urban indian health facility. so that is just the initial doses. as washington continues to get additional allocations from the center for disease control, a vaccine over the next several
weeks, we will continue to be able to add more organizations and more counties receiving the vaccine. gov. inslee: we do want to make sure people understand in the real world, just because you work in a health care setting at this moment, doesn't mean you are in the high risk category that this prioritization refers to. the high-risk category, those individual decisions are being made by the medical organizations. we made clear that it pertains to those types of working people who have the extreme exposure in these environments where they have to have aerosols, when they do an intubation, or most of their day is working with covid-19 patients. it is that group that is prior itized and this round of priority. >> all right. up next, we will go to a follow-up from austin jenkins. go ahead, austin.
reporter: thanks very much. governor, can you address the violence over the last couple of weekends in and around the capital and what might be done going forward to keep future violence from happening? gov. inslee: i have to tell you, it is maddening. it is just maddening. here we are in the middle of a pandemic, we now have a vaccine, we have a new president, and we ought to be pulling on the rope together rather than having unnecessary fights that don't help anybody, from any side of the compass. i'm expressing great disrespect for those who are engaged in violence without benefit to anybody from any source, from any side of the ideological compass. so what we are doing is trying to defuse tensions as much as possible. law enforcement officers are trying to keep people apart. so that their instincts don't lead to violence. we are doing everything we can. i just hope people will try to
show a commitment to people's health right now, rather than anger. that is the best thing i can say. this is a day to realize that if we pull together in the country, we can save a lot of lives. i hope people are more committed to saving lives than to taking them in the next several weeks. >> one last question. >> up next, we will go to evan busch with the seattle times. go ahead. reporter: hi, governor. a question for you. i'm wondering what the state's long-term goals are for vaccine uptake. what percentage of washingtonians do you aim to be vaccinated in the months, a year? the goalst describe for the early process in the -- and the long-term process as well. gov. inslee: kathy, do you want -- or michelle, about potential percentages, realizing these are preliminary numbers because they depend on the production that comes out from the producers. do you want to give any parameters of timelines at all?
>> i can start. then, michelle, you can jump in if you have other information. i think, ultimately, our goal is to have about 70% immunity in our population. this is what experts feel is the level needed for herd immunity, which is the point which outbreaks no longer occur in a population. i think it is a little bit difficult to predict how much immunity we will have along the way. because, as the governor just mentioned, we are not 100% sure of the vaccine supply going into 2021 at this point. in fact, i don't believe we have received very many estimates from the federal government around how much vaccine we will be receiving. we also don't know the uptake. we really hope that people will choose to get vaccinated. we are very confident about this
vaccine, but anything that is to .e determined as well governor inslee: in our ability to obtain immunity we need, to break the transmission chain, natural immunity will also be a benefit. so in the upcoming months, we will have increase in immunity both because of the vaccine, and because of folks who unfortunately have positive covid numbers. now, we are trying to keep that one down as low as humanly possible. and i just hope everyone can add to that great national effort. >> we've got time for one more follow-up. we will go to deborah. go ahead. reporter: thank you so much. i wanted to know, what impact, what effect will the potential emergency use authorization that may come this week with the moderna vaccine, how will that affect the number and use of
vaccines in the state? and will you do the same thing with that that you have done with the pfizer vaccine? gov. inslee: yes. you can see a similar process with similar rapidity which we are really, really happy about. michelle, do you want to address potential dates in that regard? sec. roberts: yeah. we are really looking forward to the federal review of the moderna vaccine this week as well. d advisory committee of the fda is meeting this thursday, december 17, to preview that vaccine. then we will anticipate the same steps will follow. the state committee will review, the advisory committee on immunization practices. if the vaccine does get emergency use authorization, then that vaccine would start flowing into our state so we -- the week of december 21. we are really excited about the potential for the moderna vaccine. there is less physical barriers with the the moderna vaccine.
it is 128,000 doses of the vaccine receiving authorization for the first week, that week of december 21 in washington state, so we will be able to get that vaccine to a much broader reach across the state. gov. inslee: my final sentiments are that the enormity of this success cannot be overstated. just this past february, you could have become a very rich person betting that this was going to become available in december of 2020. it is an enormous scientific achievement. it is a gift. it is a gift of intellectual capability, entrepreneurial zeal, and a lot of hard work, a decision by the federal government to invest in this. at the same time it was being approved, to manufacture it. all of these combined in a tremendous achievement. and to not use it, we just can't
allow that opportunity to go unanswered. so i am most hopeful that we follow the science. we receive the vaccine. and while we are waiting for it, a total application that we are all safe this holiday season. it is a wonderful holiday season in the sense that in the darkest darkness of the year, we have this bright light of recognition that we have the end in sight for us. and i hope everyone will take an opportunity to use those great gifts that we have, the gift of the vaccine, and the gift of our own diligence. those are going to do good things to save lives in this state. with that, please be safe. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy, visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020] >> the food and drug administration meets in open session to approve the moderna vaccine for covid-19. live coverage thursday at 9:00 a.m. eastern on c-span three, stream live and on-demand on
c-span.org, or listen on the free c-span radio app. >> with coronavirus cases increasing across the country, use our website, c-span.org/coronavirus, to follow the trends, track the spread with interactive maps, and watch updates on demand, any time at c-span.org/coronavirus. representative eliot engel was defeated by a fellow democrat in the november election, ending his 30-year tenure in the house. the new york native was a longtime member of the foreign affairs committee, chairing the panel in its most recent congress. his colleague, republican michael mccaul pay tribute to him on the house floor just before mr. engel talked about his work on the committee in his farewell address. here is ranking member mike mccall. im