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U.S. Chamber touts businesses' role in pandemic response – Coastal Point



COVID-19 vaccination boosters are now being recommended for anyone 12 or older.

Staff Reporter
COVID-19 vaccination boosters are now being recommended for anyone 12 or older.
The pandemic would have been much darker if it hadn’t been for a thriving business community that produced vaccines and diagnostics, “And that was not because of the CDC. It was the private sector that made the difference,” said Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla this week, speaking at U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s State of American Business online conference.
During his conversation with Dr. Michelle McMurry Heath, president and CEO of BIO, at the Chamber’s event on Tuesday, Jan. 11, Bourla said Pfizer has delivered more than 2.5 billion vaccines to protect against the coronavirus, and the urgency and uniqueness of the situation drove the company’s team.
The goal is to try to stay ahead of the virus while understanding how it is changing so that better vaccines and treatments can be developed. Pfizer is also working on a new oral anti-viral treatment.
“Pfizer will continue fighting COVID. The company has been blessed to be successful. It was the right moment, the right culture of the company, the right people, the right education. We will continue using all of that to stay ahead of this virus,” Bourla said.
Pfizer, he said, is also developing vaccines and treatments for other illnesses, including cancer and heart failure.
Pfizer currently has 94 active research programs, with multiple studies in each and hundreds of thousands of people involved. Experts are working on cancers of the blood and next-generation medicine that includes vaccines against cancer, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and Lyme disease, as well as a better flu vaccine.
“Ask more from your people. Give them the resources they need and be behind them, but ask more of them. You will be surprised, and they will be surprised, by how much more they can deliver if you ask them,” Bourla advised business owners.
Chris Clark, president of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, introduced Carol Tome, CEO of UPS, who took over that role in March 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic began in the U.S.
UPS employees were on the front lines, delivering packages. To make sure they were protected, masks, gloves and hand sanitizer were quickly obtained and provided, and drivers delivered an unprecedented number of orders made by those staying safely in their homes.
“Moving our world forward by delivering what matters” captures the company’s essence, Tome said. “We don’t just move goods. We do good,” she said.
Vaccines to protect against the coronavirus were delivered around the world, and Tome said UPS is proud of the part it played in being sure more than 1 billion vaccines arrived in 110 countries around the world.
“This is a very precious package… It actually isn’t a package — it’s a patient,” she said, adding that sensors were used to track the product, a control tower followed packages and dry ice was manufactured to be sure vaccines were properly chilled.
Tome said that 99.9 percent of the time, vaccines were delivered, without delay, and to the proper locations.
“Through our foundation we have delivered 20 million vaccines and even delivered vaccines to Rwanda using drones,” she said.
Before Bourla and Tome spoke, Suzanne Clark, president of the U.S. Chamber, argued that government policy is not supporting innovation in businesses but holding it back.
“We are seeing Congress’ troubling proposals,” she said, adding that the United States has not entered into an agreement with a new trade partner for a decades, yet Europe is “charging ahead, with 46 trade agreements with 78 countries, while the U.S. has only 14 trade agreements with 20 countries.”
Meanwhile, China continues to rise “as a formidable competitor” and is the top trading partner, she said.
If the United States fails to engage with other countries, export sales will suffer and there will be a weakening of strategic alliances, she said.
“We must compete vigorously around the world. We must stand up against unfair trading and regulatory practices,” she said, calling for a domestic tax code, a regulatory framework to address challenges such as climate change, strategies to maximize global supply change and “a tough stance on cyber-threats to deter and punish criminals.”
“We are all aware that we need a global plan to get us through this pandemic and prepare us for the next one,” she said, vowing, “If elected officials don’t stop getting in the way, we will stop them with every tool at our disposal — in Washington, at state houses and in the courts. The U.S. Chamber will take on this fight.”
Clark called for jobs to be filled by immigrants who are talented men and women with a dream, former inmates and those struggling with addictions.
“The public deems business the most confident and trusted of institutions. Government can’t operate at the speed of innovation the way businesses can. The state of American business is competitive. Businesses are not simply competing to win today but to win tomorrow… Competition is how we build our country, make it exceptional and move it forward,” she said.
Staff Reporter
Veteran news reporter Susan Canfora has written for many newspapers and held positions ranging from managing editor to her favorite, news reporter. She joined the Coastal Point in June 2019. She teaches college writing, tutors and professionally edits.
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The Coastal Point is a local newspaper published each Friday and distributed in the Bethany Beach, South Bethany, Fenwick Island, Ocean View, Millville, Dagsboro, Frankford, Selbyville, Millsboro, Long Neck and Georgetown, Delaware areas.


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Realm Scans: Navigating the Uncharted Territories of Digital Discovery



In the expansive landscape of digital exploration, there exists a realm where information becomes an adventure—Realm Scans. Beyond a mere scanning service, this digital haven is where curiosity converges with innovation, and the uncharted territories of digital discovery come to life. Join us as we embark on a journey to unravel the unique dynamics of Realm Scans, navigating through the realms where information is not just scanned but transformed into a digital odyssey.

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