Kathrin Jensen
Kathrin Jensen

Dr. Kathrin Jansen, who earned a doctoral degree in microbiology, biochemistry and genetics, may have missed her true calling in life: Public Relations.

Pfizer’s senior VP and head of vaccine research & development quickly shot down the Trump White House lie that funding from Operation Warp Speed bankrolled the company’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Vice president Mike Pence had tweeted: “Thanks for the public-private partnership forged by President @realDonaldTrump, Pfizer announced its Coronavirus Vaccine trial is EFFECTIVE, preventing infection in 90 percent of its vaccine.”

First son-in-law Jared Kushner chimed in, calling Pfizer’s success a testament to his father-in-law. Not so.

Truth-teller Jansen minced no words in saying that Pfizer isn’t part of Warp Speed. “We have never taken any money from the US government, or from anyone,” she said.

The only money flowing to Pfizer’s vaccine effort went to its German development partner, BioNTech SE.

Germany gave BioNTech $445M in September to accelerate the vaccine’s development by building manufacturing and development facilities in that country.

That money may have been a defensive measure against a desperate Donald Trump, who was trying to make up for mishandling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reports surfaced in March that the Trump administration was trying to woo CureVac, another German company working on a COVID-19 vaccine, to set up its research in the US.

The German Health Ministry pushed back against that courtship. “The German government is very interested in ensuring that vaccines and active substances against the new coronavirus are also developed in Germany and Europe,” a spokesperson told Reuters.

Prior to the pandemic, Pfizer and BioNTech worked together on flu vaccines. They began working on a COVID-19 vaccine before the launch of Operation Warp Speed.

Count the Federal Reserve Board as a believer when it comes to global warming.

In its biannual financial stability report released Nov. 9, the Fed for the first time counted climate change among the threats to the national economy.

In a note attached to the report, Fed governor Lael Brainard wrote:

‘Climate change poses important risks to financial stability. A lack of clarity about true exposures to specific climate risks for real and financial assets, coupled with differing assessments about the sizes and timing of these risks, can create vulnerabilities to abrupt repricing events. Acute hazards, such as storms, floods, or wildfires, may cause investors to update their perceptions of the value of real or financial assets suddenly.

“Chronic hazards, such as slow increases in mean temperatures or sea levels, or a gradual change in investor sentiment about those risks, introduce the possibility of abrupt tipping points or significant swings in sentiment.

"Supervisors expect banks to have systems in place that appropriately identify, measure, control, and monitor their material risks, which for many banks is likely to extend to climate risks.

“Increased transparency through improved measurement and more standardized disclosures will be crucial. It is vitally important to move from the recognition that climate change poses significant financial stability risks to the stage where the quantitative implications of those risks are appropriately assessed and addressed.”

Brainard will find a receptive ear in the Biden administration.