Fact check: Operation Warp Speed official discussed vaccine distribution, not mandatory vaccinations

The claim: Official with Operation Warp Speed said 'All of America must receive the vaccine within 24 hours of distribution'

After coronavirus vaccine candidates from Pfizer and Moderna showed up to 95% efficacy, officials from Operation Warp Speed, the White House-led initiative to quickly develop COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, provided an update about their efforts to assist with vaccine production and distribution.

Army Gen. Gustave F. Perna, the chief operating officer for Operation Warp Speed, provided extensive information about vaccine distribution plans at a panel on Nov. 18.

Full footage of the update is available from the Department of Defense and C-SPAN.

Erin Elizabeth – an author and public speaker is also known as "Health Nut News" –posted a one-minute clip of his remarks on Facebook and Instagram.

"All of America must receive the vaccine within 24 hours of distribution – there is no have and have Nots," she wrote, quoting the video. 

Elizabeth added that she is "not a fan" of Operation Warp Speed, and "not too thrilled" about the idea of mandated coronavirus vaccines.

Breana Janel also posted a short clip of the panel on Facebook, highlighting phrases that Perna uttered, including "All of America must receive."

"Nope... don't like that," she wrote.

Elizabeth and Janel have not responded to requests from USA TODAY for comment.

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Pfizer and BioNTech are seeking Emergency Use Authorization for their coronavirus vaccine candidate.

Comments were in reference to immediate vaccine access and 'equitable distribution,' not mandatory vaccination

The posts both emphasize the quote, "All of America must receive the vaccine within 24 hours of distribution."

But Perna was not referring to mandated vaccination – or even receiving the vaccine on an individual level.

He was talking about the importance of quickly distributing the vaccine to each of the nation's 64 jurisdictions – including the 50 states, eight territories and six major metropolitan areas.

"Distribution will occur from our fill-finish site and will go to all 64 jurisdictions that we are responsible to ensure they get vaccine for within 24 hours. Everybody – every jurisdiction – will have access immediately," he explained.

At the end of his remarks, Perna summarized his previous points and shared what he told his team are the "two things we must have."

That's when he said the quote in the posts.

"One, upon emergency use authorization, aIl of America must receive vaccine within 24 hours, as I said," he said. "I think this is incredibly important – fair and equitable distribution of the vaccine throughout the country simultaneously.

"There is no ‘haves’ and ‘have nots,'" he continued. "It is an equitable distribution, and we are driving hard to make sure that happens."

In context, he is clearly talking about the necessity of quick and fair vaccine distribution across America, not mandating vaccines.

At this time, neither President Donald Trump nor President-elect Joe Biden has called for mandatory coronavirus vaccination, per USA TODAY.

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Our rating: Missing context

Based on our research, the claim that an official with Operation Warp Speed said "All of America must receive the vaccine within 24 hours of distribution" is rated MISSING CONTEXT, because without additional context it is misleading. It's a bona fide quote from Army Gen. Gustave F. Perna – but his comments were in reference to the necessity of immediate vaccine access and "equitable distribution" across the nation, not mandatory vaccination.

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