General in charge of Operation Warp Speed apologizes for COVID vaccine delivery snags

Dave Goldiner, New York Daily News

The head of Operation Warp Speed shouldered blame Saturday for a planning snafu that led to dramatic cuts in the number of coronavirus vaccines being delivered to states.

Gen. Gustave Perna admitted overestimating the capacity to deliver the initial batches of doses of the just-approved Pfizer vaccines from coast to coast.

“I failed. I’m adjusting. I am fixing and we will move forward from there,” Perna said.

The mea culpa came after the federal government informed at least a dozen states that next week’s shipment of the Pfizer vaccine will be significantly less than originally projected.

That led to criticism from governors who say they cannot effectively get the vaccines to people if they don’t get accurate delivery information from the feds.

Perna, a U.S. Army general, said the buck stops with him — and vowed to do better.

“There is no problem with the process. There is no problem with the Pfizer vaccine,” Perna said. “It was a planning error, and I am responsible.”

The remarks came a day after a second vaccine, from Moderna, was approved for the fight against COVID-19, which has killed more than 312,000 people in the U.S.

Despite the snags, Perna said the government now is on track to get approximately 20 million doses to states by the first week of January, a combination of the newly approved Moderna vaccine and the Pfizer vaccine.

Perna said 2.9 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been delivered to states so far.