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tv   National Guard Chief Project Warp Speed Confirmation Hearing  CSPAN  June 18, 2020 10:04am-11:45am EDT

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amendments h.r. 1957. sincerely, robert f. reeves, deputy clerk. to section: pursuant 4-b of house resolution 967, the house stands adjourned until still perform all their missions overseas, they have proven they are tremendous value to america and they are some american -- amazing american men and women
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in our communities of volunteer to do this. experiencesd, their , a lot of them have appreciated the opportunity to help within their communities. it will help recruiting and retention. i think it will also help to retain them in our formations. >> we love them all. let them know that. senator reid. you, mr. chairman, thank you for your excellent statements. gen. perna, we had a great discussion yesterday afternoon. talked about typically the way the military -- we spent -- i spent some time, you spend your whole life. planned for the worst, hope for the best. here in d.c., and this is a bipartisan model, it is usually planned for the best and ignore the worst. you will be put in the middle of that. it goes back to the point we reiterated. you have to base your activities
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on science, fact, on committing saypeak truth to power, to not only the good news but also to bring us the bad news. i hope that you will do that. can you commit to that? >> i 100% will commit to that. >> thank you. ppe, that we will rely significantly on the defense production act. i think it is the most powerful tool that you'll have to organize the production and distribution. as we mentioned, that's a very complicated process. distribution involves every health department, every state in the united dates. production involves multiple manufacturers. do you anticipate the defense production act will be the primary tool that you use? >> i don't think it will be our
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primary tool. i feel confident on mission analysis we have capability and capacity in our authorities to use now. with that said, i do have direct access to the defense planning through hhsn act and the department of defense, and i feel 100% confident i can access what i need. >> we do not want to replicate the ppe situation. >> i knowledge that. >> in which states were out, internationally trying to hustle equipment. that is not an exaggeration. from china, paying extraordinary prices for equipment that they could have had. the essence of the defense production act is establishing reasonable prices and also to control this distribution so it
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is not a first-come, first-served -- the favored son or daughter gets the supplies versus someone else. your point is clear and i knowledge, and will comply. >> thank you. as you indicated in your response to the chairman, the fda will make the call when the vaccine is ready. but we out of your lane want to put it on the table. they could make a call even if there is relatively low efficacy of the drug. just say it is ready. we saw a little bit of that with situationychloroquine where they had a temporary approval and then recently they pulled it back, discovering it was actually causing serious collateral damage by its use.
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again, we don't want to find ourselves in the ppe position or position.ychloroquine that is why i'm not a doctor, by the way. among many other reasons. we want to be very careful. i know that is not your lane, but we should understand, all of us, the fda has to demand rather significant efficacy or this drug before they say it's ok. we want a vaccine, not a headline. now let me turn to gen. hokanson. i think your remarks, background -- very few seconds remaining. a difficult question. the parameters of the use of the national guard in these cooperative efforts with law enforcement in terms of
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civil service? i know so much depends on the ts, but could give us a your view on how you would approach the problem? >> working closely with governors, over the past weeks, the ability of the national guard to mobilize 43,000 in statesnd airmen and the district, it is a good news story. the key thing is we have to make sure our soldiers are trained and equipped. the whole intent is to deescalate. ago, icouple of weeks think that shows their ability to help their communities. >> thank you both for your extraordinary service to the nation. >> thank you, mr. chairman. this is a good hearing, impressive presentations from both of our nominees. gen. hokanson, congratulations on your nomination. the president,
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secretary esper, secretary mccarthy for working with us to arrive at a truly consensus nominee. i look forward to working with you and want to congratulate you. both of you, as a matter of fact. gen. hokanson, let's talk about the mobilization and annual training equipment site at camp shelby. we have had a bit of a problem with the unfunded requirements. right now, the facility would not be funded because it is low on the ufr list. this benefits can't shelby, if we can get it done. but also the entire national guard, nation, the proposed project would expand the facility to add 12 vehicle bays at a cost of $60 million. i cannot ask you to absolutely commit that you will move this up, but tell us your view of the
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facility and the importance of getting this done sooner rather than later. >> thank you for the question. we look at our mates facilities across the country, they provide for medicinal he not only to our national guard but to the nation come in our ability to maintain the equipment we have provided for our national guard forces. it is absolutely critical we do everything we can in a transparent process to get that funded so that they can repair and maintain the equipment, so it is ready whenever our nation calls. >> this is our number one priority down in mississippi. i think you'll agree, in benefits everybody, not just the one state there. let me ask you also, gen. hokanson, to talk about the effort underway to align all national guard brigade combat guardwith national division.
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this is something that is gaining support. i just wondered if you could give us your thoughts on that idea of aligning these long-term programs. >> senator, thank you. if we go back to prior to world war i, our national guard was to run the country. regionally, we created divisions, all 17 applied in rules were one in world war ii. in 2019, when we came up with a new national defense strategy, is stressed competition. we had division headquarters that were solely just that, division headquarters, with no down trace units. however, if you look across the entire army national guard, we have virtually all of the down trace units. the proposal that we brought up was to develop a training association not only for our brigade combat teams, but for
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all formations, so instead of having 10 active army divisions, we would have a total of 18 army divisions. that provides not only great to turn to value but opportunity for some of our smaller states who have outstanding leaders to get opportunities to serve at higher levels. would promotea long-term growth and prosperity for the guard? >> yes, senator, it would. >> let me turn to gen. perna. you have quite the task ahead of you in a short timeframe. the ranking member asked you about the defense production act as a tool but not your primary tool we are learning. you may not have looked at this, may not have been aware. i have been an advocate, sometimes a voice crying in the wilderness for prize competitions. let me suggest that you and your team consider that as you are
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trying to get something done, big scale in a small time. humankind response to incentives. overators have been shown time, over the centuries to ,espond to financial incentives and i would just ask you not to rule out among your bag of tools some sort of prize competition to financially incentivize these competitors to get there when we need them to get their, -- th do so, the they board of the prize would be money well spent because the taxpayer would be well served. you may not want to comment on that, but i hope you would consider it, and use it as one of the ideas. >> i fully agree with you, senator. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator gillibrand.
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ok. we are going to be going down a list here. we don't know for sure who is here remotely. i will just go down on the democrat side until we have someone here. senator shaheen? blumenthal? thank you, mr. chairman. thank you both for your service. happy anniversary, general perna. think, shows, i something very enduring and important about our men and women in uniform, which is often it is a family tradition, family affair. i congratulate you as well on your children. it emphasizes to me, gen. hokanson, how the multiple tours
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of duty of our national guard over these 20 years have taken a toll on our families. i know that you'll be mindful of the enormous sacrifice made by military families, as well as the men and women who actually serve in uniform. int is particularly true connecticut and i know our national guard leaders in connecticut think highly of you, and so do i. i thank you for your service, look forward to working with you. , i know that you have one of the most challenging and important tasks in our nation today, and it is made all the more difficult, i think, by to administration's refusal work with other countries in developing vaccines. aren't you working with one hand tied behind your back because
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the administration has, in effect, rejected and spurned combined world efforts to develop effective vaccine? as we are working right now, we are open to all ideas that will allow us to achieve our mission of obtaining a safe and effective vaccine. to ae not been constrained decision to eliminate somebody from that competition. >> will you commit to the committee and the nation that you will work with any nation that offers cooperation or information relevant to developing vaccines or therapeutics? >> i commit to working with all nations that we deem are probably to our national security. >> we often work with nations that are sometimes hostile in certain arenas. we trade with them, workout
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agreements with them. will you commit that you will urge both diplomats and fellow leaders in this effort to develop a vaccine, that we work with every nation that offers promise in the world of medicine? >> i commit i will give my best military advice so that we can achieve our mission of obtaining the safe and effective vaccine to that end. >> i don't want to dwell on it, but i regard that answer, with all due respect, as insufficient. i would like to see a much more robust commitment to cooperation with other nations, which i think serves our national interest. i am very concerned about the use of non-fda vaccines on service members without effective, informed consent. as the attorney general of connecticut, i was active in
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writing a letter to then secretary of defense donald commissioneracting in response to the mandatory anthrax maxine program. -- vaccine program. i understand trials are beginning in july. >> correct. inthe vaccine may be used tests on service members, is that correct? >> i am not tracking that right now. >> i would like you to commit that you will offer a robust policy of inform and consent without any kind of coercive influence, so far as service members are concerned. >> i do commit to that. understanding is your goal is to have 100 million doses ready in november of 2020, an additional 200 million by
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january 2021. is that realistic? >> right now, as i see the numbers, i do think it is potentially possible. it is possible. >> it is possible, but -- >> we have to work through the trials. as trials can be lengthy, they work through the science of the effectiveness of the vaccine. and only after the science is , and the fdahe fda makes their independent assessments will we be able to distribute the vaccines we are producing. >> that may be, in effect, months from july of this year. >> correct, senator. >> knows numbers of doses are a possibility and a hope, but you cannot make any promises or
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commitments as to the number or when they will be actually available. >> i am working on the goal to achieve as you articulated but i cannot promise right now. >> i thank you for your candor and both of you for your service. thank you very much. fischer?r >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for holding the nomination hearing today. general perna, you mentioned leveraging the work being done at universities for operation warp speed in your responses. in nebraska, we are proud of the work that the university of nebraska medical center has done performing clinical trials of treatment candidates and also preparing for some of the very first covid-19 patients to arrive in the united dates -- estate. given the unique challenge and settings of the universities,
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how do you see them fitting into this effort? senator, we are open to all recommendations on how to potentially solve this problem. we are taking -- i am personally taking phone calls on a daily basis from academia and industry, meeting with groups accordingly to assess their ideas, understand the practicality of their ability to deliver. at the end of the day, we must have safe and effective vaccines. enough, witheedy quality, to achieve our goal. we must ensure that we can garner the capability for quantity. we work through those assessments. but i am open to any conversation with anybody who wants to contribute. a newaddition to seeking vaccine, one of the goals of operation warp speed is to develop new treatments for those
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affected with covid-19. surge know, very limited capacity of our national healthcare network has been a factor in care. that is one of the reasons i worked to include the expansion of a dod pilot on medical surge capacity in the senate that passed out of committee. i hope that you do take a look at initiatives such as this pilot, and explore how to speed the delivery of new treatments to patients. >> ma'am, we are looking at therapeutics, we believe they have a -- we have a great opportunity to introduce new therapeutics to the nation, potentially as early as october, november, as we work through the medical protocols, which i will
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not allow to be short cutted. i knowledge and agree with you. >> thank you, sir. gen. hokanson, the national guard plays a very unique role in the realm of our security operations by linking state forces with the international partners. we capitalize on the guard's unique ability to build those lasting relationships. it does provide numerous benefits for both united states -- how do you see a state partnership program involving to meet the needs of the national defense strategies? >> thank you for highlighting one of the great programs within the national guard. if you look at our state partnership program, we have partnerships with 89 nations across the globe.
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ourot only helps with combatant commanders but with our national guard because it gives them the opportunity to train with allies and partners, and develop long-term relationships. many of these go back to 1993 with the original state partnership program countries that have gone on to become nato members. when we look at the national strategy, national defense strategy with respect to allies and growing partners, this provides us another avenue to do that by developing those low-level relationships that usually start out with humanitarian assistance and disaster response but then grow to not only help their militaries improved but also we learn from them, and it gives us another opportunity to create additional partners around the globe. >> one of the core principles of the nds is that we must work to attract good partners, new and aligned, something that you have highlighted.
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how specifically can you offer that you are going to work to be able to advance those partnerships in the near future? look at theif you last year, 2020, we added five new state partners, worked closely with the combatant commanders and state department, as well as our state national guard to identify those best candidates that provide benefit not just to our nation but also to the relationship between our national guard and these countries. i promise that we will continue to do that and the future partnership opportunities. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ono --tor here the committees on which i sit, since you became a legal
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adult have you ever made unwanted requests for sexual favors or committed any verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature? >> no. >> have you ever faced discipline or entered into something related to this conduct? >> no. >> no. >> i have a series of questions for general perna. you are nominated to be chief operations officer -- aims to deliver 300 million doses of a vaccine to the american public by january of 2021. that is a very ambitious bull and while i commend this goal i am concerned about the lack of transparency and accountability for operation warp speed. this is a massive use of taxpayer dollars and the mission is of intense importance to all of us. i know hundreds of millions of taxpayer money has gone out in
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various contracts for the development, manufacture, and distribution of a vaccine. is little clarity about the division of responsibilities within this project and how contracts are being or have been awarded, what safeguards are in place to ensure health and safety is the first priority. specificxplain the responsibilities you have undertaken as coo in operation warp speed and specifically with regard to decisions relating to the development, manufacturing, and distribution of a vaccine. the perna: at the end of day i am responsible and accountable for all decisions execution of our mission. i commit to you that it will be legal, ethical, and moral as i
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prioritize, assess, and determine what courses of action we do as we move forward. because as youge highlighted it is a monumental task. we will bring to bear capabilities from health and human services, department of defense and -- >> thank you. i am running out of time. -- sen. hirono: you said you would commit to work with all nations that we could consider friendly to our national security interest in the development of effective vaccines, does that include china? gen. perna: right now for me it does not. it would be my best military advice -- sen. hirono: thank you, it could be very well that china is the
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one who develops the most effective vaccine, where does that put us? developedaccine is will distribution be done equitably nationwide, they have already had major problems with distributions of test kits, swabs, and ppe. and the drug remdesivir. it is not hydroxychloroquine. what are you doing to learn from past mistakes in the covid-19 response to make sure that they are not repeated when it comes to this vaccine? you are going to need to prioritize the distribution of the vaccine to seniors, first-line responders, etc.. are you developing those priorities and will they be made public? gen. perna: your latter point first. the priority will be a policy decision that we will execute
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based on guidance from a policy we are working on our plans for distribution of the vaccine, we are working several courses of action which go from all -- we are approach working through the pros and cons accordingly. when you talked about phase three trials i like that you talked about the decision will be based on science. be aerstand there will risk in that the manufacturing of the vaccine will be before we complete the phase three trials that should involve 30,000 people. can you give me a commitment this morning that you will reef congress and the public every two weeks on operation warp speed? billions of dollars in contracts have been given and we don't
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know what the terms of the contract were. can you commit to congress and the public knowing what is happening with project work speed every two weeks. i will report as directed. that is not a particularly satisfactory response. what i am hearing is you are not making a commitment. gen. perna: i commit to you that i will report accordingly. sen. hirono: thank you. 1 [indiscernible] -- >> [indiscernible] going to do is go down the line and i am going to give adequate time for each member to get the equipment working. senator rounds.
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thank you both for your service to our country. i would like to begin with general hokanson. our friend in south dakota speaks highly of you and believes that you have the appropriate concepts regarding the division realignments that he believes are consistent with long-term growth within the national guard units. andave also discussed appreciated the time you have spent speaking with me earlier. it is necessary that our national guard men and women receive the best equipment that is available and that if they are expected to fight alongside regular men and women in the army that they have the scholarly training and they have access to similar equipment. one of the challenges anyone in a position that you will be
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assuming -- one challenge you will find is making certain that you have access to the appropriate equipment for guard members equivalent to what our service members in the regular army would have. if you take a look at what we are looking at in terms of improvement like the blackhawk, the joint lake tactical vehicle, the apache, the lightning, the jollypegasus, and the hhw green. these are all items the guard will need to have access to as well. would it be your understanding that as part of the job description that you have is to be a champion to make certain that for the long-term -- they also had the opportunity to have access to and are fairly treated in acquiring that equipment. sen. rounds: yes -- lt. gen hokanson: when i look at
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national guard equipment i want to make sure that at every opportunity our equipment is not only deployable and sustainable but interoperable with the active components and in many cases our allies as well. if you look at the current global situation we want to make sure that those in first contact have the absolute best equipment in country can provide and we can't always know who that first unit is going to be. we advocate at every opportunity to make sure the national guard is modernized alongside with active components. sen. rounds: thank you. general perna you have the opportunity to make a difference in saving thousands of lives and this particular project, warp speed i don't think has received a credit that it duly deserves. i know that there is always a question as to whether or not we
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sacrifice safety in order to expedite the development of a vaccine. there istanding is nothing in the warp speed plan delay theat would safe deployment of a vaccine but rather to do two steps at the same time to go through all of the trials necessary to ensure the efficacy and safety of a vaccine, but the importance of warp speed is that the federal government has taken upon itself of looking atcost multiple vaccine possibilities in advance and pre-funding the development of those vaccines prior to the determination of ,heir efficacy and safety having them available should one or two of them ask early -- actually be found to have the efficacy and safety and to be
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ready immediately for production -- or for distribution. can you go into what you find in terms of the position that we find ourselves in and the current situation and the current place that you walk into to either confirm or agree with us in terms of what that might mean in terms of how much time that saves us in the delivery of those vaccines. you are correct in your analysis of what we are doing. -- ouralready working great scientists and researchers have already made great strides working with industry to determine which vaccines we think are most probable to be successful. they have to go through trials, science will determine the effectiveness and then there will be a decision by the fda.
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are already working on the mass production of vaccines and to determine the right capacity and capability we need to achieve the volume of vaccines we need for the nation. that we willood have a vaccine and we are working through manufacturing to ensure that the quantity that will be available to the american public -- sen. rounds: any doubt in your mind that we will be saving months in this development process using warp speed? gen. perna: months if not years. have beene: i informed that two of our members were actually on but had mechanical problems. i will go back to senator gillibrand and then to senator cotton and/or regular rotation. sen. gillibrand: thank you. thank you for
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being here and for your answers. i want to go back over testimony you said earlier. i am concerned that operation warp speed will be under pressure to release a vaccine before the election, but before adequate testing and research has been completed. please walk me through the metrics and requirements that will be in place before the fda approves a vaccine for public use, and could any emergency use authorization be invoked to release the vaccine even before those requirements have been met? to answer your question directly, my requirement is to make sure that we can develop, produce, and deliver the vaccine. the decision on the efficacy of the vaccine is strictly an fda
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responsibility. toill personally commit ensure that we will execute all accordancetocols in with requirements today. decision to provide emergency relief capabilities and/or deliver early is not my decision and that will be a policy decision. sen. gillibrand: you may not know the answer to this question then, but what efforts have been made to ensure diversity in trial participants? are you involved in making sure the vaccines are safe for mass deployment with adults, children, seniors, and those with disabilities. gen. perna: i have been at updates where i have given special guidance to that end's we need to assess diversity in the elderly population and those with other ailments that may
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greater illness because of the virus. we are looking at all of those. sen. gillibrand: ok. what criteria are you using currently in selecting vaccine candidates to support and develop under operation warp speed? gen. perna: we are working with industry partners who will be responsible to execute clinical nih,s with guidance from the national institute of health. through theng determination of how they go and select the persons that they will require for the trial. i don't have the specificity that you deserve and i can come back and talk to you at a later date. sen. gillibrand: we would like if you could update the committee to be able to keep our committee --
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with specificity on certain milestones updated by hhs. is that something you are planning on doing? gen. perna: i'm committed to doing that. sen. gillibrand: what is the variance in cost for developing each of these drugs, which is the most expensive and why the two candidates being developed by mode dharna and astrazeneca are being tested in earth -- moderna and astrazeneca are being tested in early phases with the university of oxford -- they say their study of the cost $4.2ccine has million to date. do you have information about cost? gen. perna: we have already worked with astrazeneca and moderna to be a part of research and development and we are in negotiations to expand into production.
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we have put moneys into them accordingly. thevariance of how much vaccine will cost is under unable ton, and i am talk about that right now. you have my commitment and insurance that i am putting due diligence in holding people accountable to make sure that the vaccine is priced within reasonable means of execution, producing and delivering. >> are these vaccines in human trials? three of the companies that got funding have not started clinical trials for the vaccine candidates according to the world health organization only 10 covid vaccines are in human trials. when are the first and last human trials expected to conclude? executingneca is trials in england. for us they have not started.
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trials will begin for us on the ninth of july with moderna followed by astrazeneca and jensen. sen. gillibrand: thank you, mr. chairman. [no audio] sen. inhofe: senator cotton? [no audio] >> senator kotten you are not muted -- can cotton: general perna, you hear me? gen. perna: i can. sen. cotton: i would like to talk about the balance you tend to -- you intend to strike
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between a safe and effective fda approved vaccine on the one hand but also getting that vaccine as quickly as possible out to our citizens. could you speak to that issue a bit? gen. perna: first of all i am remarkably proud of our scientists and researchers in health and human services and the department of defense. be the on them to medical experts and i rely on them heavily in the recommendations and advice to ensure that we are executing all medical protocols appropriately and that we will hold ourselves accountable to that end. simultaneously, while all of those are going on recommendations accordingly from the chief medical advisor and the other scientists and
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researchers have allowed us to assess the capability of potential vaccines and begin to coordinate the initiation of contracts who establish production. need to buye forward materials needed for the vaccine, we need to buy forward the space we will need for production, and we want to buy forward the finish capability after production. then we want to coordinate the distribution. all of those things instead of ,aiting in a sequential method i.e. fda approves and then we do it. we are doing it in parallel which is how we will save months if not years. that is different from the way most vaccines are developed and produced. clear want to make it
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because i believe this is the right approach, that when you are taking full-scale production risk that means we might end up lots of vaccines , saying up not working that it was wasteful, the reason we are doing that is to accelerate the production --eline for whatever vaccine we can develop and produce that on an accelerated timeline and we can possibly save months or years. gen. perna: 100% correct. sen. cotton: sen. gillibrand: -- sen. cotton: i want to highlight that that we are taking part -- production risks that might appear to have squandered lots of money but that's a risk we we canring up front so get vaccines out to people
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people to our that are effective and fda approved. sheral, you mentioned that -- the chief advisor for operation warp speed. can you explain his role and what your relationship with the doctor will be? >> -- gen. perna: he was brought into be the chief medical advisor by secretary a's are -- secretary azar. i did not know him until the 13th of may when i met him in the white house and since then i spoke with him every day about what we are doing. withy on him heavily recommendations and advice as he is a renowned expert in the vaccine developments, currently
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14 vaccines are contribute -- attributed directly to him and his efforts are going to help us achieve our goal. thank you and congratulations to you both on your nominations. senator kaine. >> kane or king? sen. inhofe: this is senator kaine, senator king is next. have at i want to say i very warm spot in my heart for the national guard. as governor i had one of the largest callouts in our state history when we had a disastrous ice storm that knocked half-hour
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people off the electric grid and the guard was indispensable. i have a very strong belief in the efficacy and importance of the guard. the guard is now being called of these protests around the country. do the guard units being called up in that regard have any special training in the area of crowd control and training to deal in these kinds of difficult situations where we weigh civil liberties against public order? we rely on ourn: state adjutants general to make sure any soldiers employed in that manner are trained and whipped fire to that -- sen. kaine: --
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sen. king: general, you have one of the most important assignments in the united states government. i want to start on a couple of points that have been made previously. there has been some disdain for it -- that you will continue to cooperate with international efforts to find this virus -- this virus does not care if you are brazilian, american, or english. it strikes me that there may be additional science and wisdom being developed in other parts of the world that we should take advantage of. one of my mottos is all of us are smarter than one of us. can you commit that you are open working with international partners on the project? question so they have revolved around the relationships on safety and
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speed and i think it is important to refer back to 1955 and the cutter vaccine which was administered to 200,000 children in the midwest and west. 40,000 of whom contracted polio. if we are going to inject something into the arms of 300 million americans we better be damp sure it is effective and safe. there is going to be tremendous pressure to do this in a hurry. exerciseat you will all possible efforts to be sure that the vaccine that is being used will in fact protect us and also not make us sick. >> i give you my personal assurance on that, i every day think about my granddaughters and my parents to that end.
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>> have you been explicitly told if you need it you have it? >> i have not been told that i feel 100% that i have immediate r ands to secretary aza secretary expert. -- secretary esper. >> i hope that when the moment comes there is not a delay for that authority to be granted. how is the price going to be determined of this vaccine, bearing in mind that the united states taxpayers have already or will already made significant investments in the private companies to enable them to develop the maxine. -- vaccine. >> we are in negotiations with each company to obtain the right price for the vaccine.
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will personally be involved in those conversations. will pay close attention to that. the other piece is who pays for the vaccine for those millions of americans who don't have health insurance. we have to be able to discuss that issue as well. unable --se is not equal opportunity killer and we don't want the vaccine to be anything but equal opportunity for all americans who need it. thank you, i look forward to working with you and i appreciate your willingness to take on this incredibly important project. thank you very much for being with us today. , i will starton with you.
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proud retired national guardsmen. our national guard forces remain near and dear to my heart. whenever americans are needed in a time of crisis it is our national guardsmen that step up to that call. i applaud them for their service and dedication. how many national guard troops have been mobilized this month alone? >> when we look at the height around june 6 and june 7 we had over 120,000 and that includes not only the -- 120 thousand national guardsmen, could he tell us about the various mission sets our national guardsmen are involved in? we look at that time flame we have 40,000 working on the covid-19 at the time and we had
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close to 40,000 with civil unrest and we are mobilized for tropical storm cristobal. we have guardsmen on the andhwest corridor remediation in some states with respect to previous natural disasters and we have many in support day-to-day. if we look at air control alert sites around the nation as well as ground-based midcourse defense -- counting thenly folks deployed, 20,000 at that time. that isst: extraordinary and beyond those missions you listed, there are others that national guardsmen have performed in the past, wild fire fighting activities. governor king just stated ice storms and so forth. manytruly respond to so
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incidents and crises across the united states. what what our governors do if they did not have the national guard? lt. gen hokanson: i hesitate to think about that because our governors realize the tremendous value that our national guard provides every single day that would require a significant investment and many other capabilities. you mentioned wildfires in arizona. annually we have hurricanes and the potential for earthquakes at any time. the great value the national guard brings is they are in our 2800 unities across the nation every day and are usually the closest. -- my point is we have citizen soldiers at the ready ready to respond to support our public and their needs. i do hope that we all continue
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to show great respect and admiration. we do have a number of national guardsmen that are responding to covid-19 and in the state of iowa we we have had many wonderful folks on the front line. calledator and i have for an extension of tri-care after the national guardsmen's last day of activation and i do believe that personnel who served in close proximity to covid-19 should receive hazardous duty pay, i believe they have erred it, how does the national guard plan to address medical issues that come up after the deployment for those that are working on the coronavirus and civil unrest missions? lt. gen hokanson: for those on 502 federal orders we have built a national 14 days so they can quarantine or self-isolate to
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make sure that they have no existing conditions when they come off of orders. if they do at that time we will address that tend to make sure that they get care they deserve, they and their families. brief period of time, general, i have the provision that was to support important work being done in the nano vaccine area, some of which is happening at the nano vaccine institute of iowa state university. i was placed into the senate version of the ndaa which past committee last week. for those universities that are already performing this type of join in are likely to your efforts, does your project have the proper tools and authorities to leverage those universities, or do they have to go through private partners? gen. perna: we can access and execute accordingly.
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if they have a vaccine or recommendation that will be able to meet -- sen. ernst: my time is expired. sen. inhofe: senator heinrich. i know that, but -- i know that he is next. i am trying to give enough time for people to get their operations going there. senator warren. [no audio] senator warren, going twice. [no audio] all right, senator peters. [no audio]
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manchin? [laughter] back to the to go republican side. sen. tillis: -- sen. tillis: thank you to your staff are doing a great job. she is the one or two -- he is in the hot seat. both for being i wanted to talk a little bit about the plumbing that you are already putting into place for manufacturing and distributing a vaccine. it is my understanding that through the authorities you have already got manufacturers who have figured out a way to create --
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that gives them the capacity to increase their blindsided. there is another improvable that is increasing the size you can get as many as 10 doses in a single file. can you give me an idea of what positive steps we are taking to get the plumbing in place before we have a vaccine? >> to the specificity that you just talked about i cannot address at this time but i can go back. is we have, done working and funding the advance purchase of materials so that we garner them all and have them in the right place to establish production. then we are working through execution or buying over the reduction capacity needed to mass-produce, then as well as
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phil finish as you articulated with the vials. key steps that have to be worked through. we worked through the efforts to make sure that the tech data is transferred properly within all protocols so that all organizations are ready to execute to standard. out where wehed we areng production, so not bouncing back and forth between companies and different types of vaccines and we can maintain the same protocols accordingly to ensure that we capacity andt capability in a smooth transition. general, in your opening statement you said
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you're implementing initiatives that encourage further integration between the national guard and active components. how will you balance that against the dual role the national guard plays? i think that is an important objective, but how do you balance that against the work the we need to do with national guard focusing on states and civil authorities? lt. gen hokanson: i thank you for the question. we work closely with our state adjutants general to find the right islands between earl and state requirements. a lot of times we will have a conversation with them that needs additional assistance towards the state. we want to make sure that we have -- also balancing that with federal mission requirements overseas. i think you know that the north carolina guard has a reputation of doing the kind of things you want the guard to be prepared to do with
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our active service members. just making sure we keep our eye on the ball. general, a quick question for you. is warp speed focused exclusively on the vaccine? are you also tracking therapeutics that could get into the supply chain. >> we are working on we have someand promising candidates -- have beens: i tracking that as well. i hope that if we get a promising therapeutic -- we have to understand the timeline. we are talking about drugs that have proven their efficacy and have already identified side effects and now we are testing them for efficacy in the space. startsthat if this
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getting distributed in september and october we don't see people saying they should look at the science. i don't say it's just timing associated with the election. one,estion for you, number i do think the american people have all eyes on you -- reporting arbitrary data every two weeks does not make sense to me. i mean -- that is going to give a lot of americans a lot of confidence and you have to figure out the right way to do it. last question. i only have 20 seconds. what role do you think with the v.a. health being the largest purchaser of syringes and other materials, what role did the da play in the distribution system once we have a vaccine or therapeutic? lt. gen hokanson: i think -- gen. perna: i think they will
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help us augment audible and deliver rapidly as required. we are working through those courses of action now. thank you, mr. chair. sen. inhofe: senator warren? ,en. warren: general hokanson congratulations on your nomination. i want to have your views on the use of military in response to peaceful protests and other acts of civil disobedience on american streets. i was very troubled that national guard soldiers were deployed in washington, d.c. to disperse peaceful protesters against systemic racism. that response included using d.c. national guard helicopters, one of which was a medical evacuation helicopter, and using them to fly dangerously low over protest. this blue debris everywhere and kicked up dirt and snapped trees.
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i know this incident is under investigation but i am raising this with you because you have been nominated to be the chief of the national guard bureau. andging in peaceful protest -- if the national guard is deployed in an area involving peaceful protests in the future how would you ensure that guardsmen clearly understand the type of orders under which they have been activated and the activities that are within the scope of their mission? lt. gen hokanson: i thank you for that timely question. nationalook at our guardsmen when they are called to duty by their governors we rely heavily on the state adjutants general to make sure they are properly trained and equipped for anything they are asked to do. one of those includes ds killer tour he measures. if you look at the height at --re we were, almost 43,000
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we are now down below 4000. i think that shows the ability for us to help de-escalate the situations. my pledge to you is that we will always operate in accordance with laws and policies and the expectations of our citizens. i appreciate this, general. let me ask you, i just want to say on this june 1 incident or just a minute. several law enforcement officers used rubber bullets and tear gas against peaceful protesters so the president could take a photo in front of a church. i was troubled when i saw the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff dressed in battle fatigues walking with the president to participate in this photo op. i found it disturbing when general milley was walking on a d.c. street to observe national guard operations. wereieve these actions
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highly inappropriate and they underline civilian military relations. i raise this example because, if confirmed, you will become one of the joint chiefs of staff which are the president's most critical military advisors. it is important for all of us to know if you can resist political interference. general milley apologized for his presence in the square and here is part of what he said. we have to wear the cloth of our nation cut from the people of our nation. we must hold dear the principles of an apolitical military that is so deeply rooted in the very essence of our republic. agree? hokanson, do you lt. gen hokanson: yes, senator. sen. warren: thank you.
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the killings of george floyd and breonna taylor at the hands of police as well as the gruesome murder of ahmaud arbery have undermined the urgency -- have underlined the urgency -- reminding their ranks about what our country and our military stands for. in a recent letter titled "we must do better" the current chief of the national guard bureau said, if we are to fulfill our obligation and service -- as service members and americans and as decent human beings we have to take our oath seriously. we cannot tolerate racism, discrimination, or casual violence. we cannot abide divisiveness and hate. and watch.tand by
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general, do you agree with the general that if confirmed what message you will send to our citizen soldiers, our airmen and our communities they protect about the values of the guard, especially as the country works to make real change to address systemic racism. i agree withson: those comments and if confirmed i would follow the same. sen. warren: thank you. if confirmed you will be responsible for training our next generation of leaders. in our critical moment nations history it is important to send a clear message that diversity and inclusion make our military and our country stronger, so i appreciate your commitment. thank you very much. [no audio]
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sen. inhofe: senator mcsally. sen. mcsally: general, what is the normal timeline to develop a vaccine these days? gen. perna: as i understand it somewhere between five and 10 years. sen. mcsally: i know your expertise is more in the logistic side of things, but this task and the goal we have set, that we have set a goal of all ofthat we would put the brainpower and innovation and all the strength and our government agencies, industries, and researchers together in order to develop this vaccine for the american people at warp speed. thatis a herculean task shows the best of america coming together, don't you agree? gen. perna: 100%. sen. mcsally: the snarky cynics
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out there are trying to take pot shots at efforts, this is us reaching for the stars in order to beat the virus and protect the people. it comes with challenges. we have to give all we have so inappreciate your leadership this very important endeavor. one thing the coronavirus has awakened us to is our reminder of our adversary communist china for pharmaceuticals, for our ppe and for many other elements of our supply chain. increasing the manufacturing capability in parallel to this testing here, for operation warp speed both for the vaccine and for the , can you treatment talk about whether you are holistically looking at the industrial base of america and the supply chain holistically
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for not just these treatments but for bringing that home. we saw with testing it was not just developing the test, it was about we don't have the swabs, we don't have the transport fluid or the biome. there are all elements of the supply chain for these treatments and a vaccine. intour team looking bringing home the supply chain for all elements of this effort back to america and away from our adversary, china? responsibilities, if confirmed, would not be about corralling all of the supply chain and bringing it back to america as you articulated. it would be focused to ensure that we are able to enable manufacturing and deliver administration. buying forward would beat that requirement.
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when you say manufacturing it is not just manufacturing of the vaccine, we need everything that goes with it, the vials and syringes and all of that. gen. perna: my responsibility is not about enabling the country to have all that capability, it is about the execution of the vaccine. sen. mcsally: as far as the leadership team i want to make sure that is part of the focus and it is not just an you factoring the vaccine but everything we need in order to deliver it as well as a treat. there are ongoing efforts on this same topic, the domestic industrial -- the domestic industrial base for medical supplies and pharmaceuticals and the pardon -- defense production
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act is being used for some of that. do you know how project warp speed might be coordinating? and leveraging with these efforts -- as far as operation warp speed i have direct access to the defense planning act through secretary azar for secretary esper. ,en. mcsally: general hokanson the national guard has been vital to help arizona and they confront andwe deal with this pandemic. volunteering at various food banks and working alongside them and i am proud of the men and women of the guard and them stepping up to do so many different things in order to help arizona in this challenging time. just yesterday the governor announced that 300 more arizona guardsmen will be involved in
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contract -- contact tracing -- thisn't be getting through time without the men and women of the arizona guard. is there anything else that you need in order for our guards men and women to be able to conduct the various missions they are being asked i the governors to get us through this challenge? lt. gen hokanson: not at this time. we greatly appreciate your continued support and that of the committee. >> thank you for your service and for being here today. as i mentioned in my opening remarks in introducing you you have integrated so well into the huntsville community and also our state.
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-- the university of alabama system is working on this as well as some other folks across the state involved in developing and manufacturing the vaccine and therapeutics as well. can you tell the committee the contribution that the folks in alabama are making and what it means to the success of your efforts going forward? with a varietyng of industry and academia and alabama is contributing to those recommendations and all that are -- that demonstrate the potential we are paying attention to. through theding explaining operation warp speed which is a great document. there are some aspects i am not
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clear on. itone point in that document states that manufacturing capacity developed will be used for whatever vaccine is eventually successful, if possible, giving the nature of a successful product regardless of which firms have developed the capacity. am i to understand from that, by way of example, that if there are five firms that are working on a vaccine, if only one is success will out of the five, does that mean we are going to try to get the other four to produce and manufacture that vaccine? there we going to rely on one firm that was successful. is that we have each industry partner that has the potential scientifically to be successful. we are having them each
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manufacture and we are using the capacities for all of them to achieve our and state of 300 million. failure would only be determined on the end primarily by the fda of course. no plan toe there is jump capabilities as you just suggested but is something worthy for me to look into. >> right now they are all beginning to ramp up manufacturing of what they are working on, so if there is more than one we have the capacity. it has not been determined yet whether or not -- successfulne or two we would share that information so there can be more manufacturing, that has not been determined? thank you very much for your service. i am very proud of the alabama national guard. we have had some incredible
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success down there. scott grant in particular who is retiring, we are going to miss him a lot. i want to talk for a minute and it's kind of a follow-up for the that is diverse -- back in 2011 the military leadership diversity committee did a report on adversity in the military which included several recommendations for the national guard. i have been working on that with ndaa language for all of the military because i am concerned about that not only in it listed ranks but also officer ranks. can you tell us to your knowledge to what extent the national guard bureau has implemented any of those recommendations and if confirmed are there specific steps or initiatives you would like to
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diversitylp build within the national guard ranks. if confirmedson: my intent would be to make sure that all of our formations respect the diversity of the from andes they come that is not just overall but within the rank structure as well. the diversity and ethnicity of our nation is reflected at every level. >> do you have any specifics in mind to do that or will that be a work in progress? lt. gen hokanson: working with the state adjutant general and when we look at some of the branches within the army and their oars that have a tendency to have higher promotion rates to make sure that the soldiers and airmen entering those formations reflect our communities in terms of ethnicity so they are given the same level of opportunity at the highest ranks. >> thank you and thank you both for your service, i look forward to confirming you both.
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senator blackburn? >> i think i may be the last one in the queue. you are recognized, senator blackburn. sen. blackburn: thank you, mr. chairman. general, i want to talk to you what you have done with the guard -- sen. inhofe: let me interrupt for a moment. you are coming through very quietly here. let me ask the generals if they can hear senator blackburn. go ahead and perceive, i am sorry to interrupt. sen. blackburn: that is perfectly fine. as i was saying, as the director of the guard, realigning the
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2018 --s and the to lookit is important at and we are thinking about this realignment and we look at what is happening with the 278 -- you i wanted to hear from is, we talk about these division level commanders and they are being responsible for, -- prostate training plans and the review of readiness reports, the development of mobilization plans, are your plans still online for the 2023 realignment and talk to me about how that would affect units like the 278 acr. >> thank you for that question.
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the decision is now with the secretary of the army and once approved we could execute that 2023. brigade combatur teams across the nation, the 278 intent would be to align those with division headquarters for multiple reasons. one of those would be in the states where they don't have division headquarters and for officers and senior ncos with the highest potential, it gives you the opportunity to go to higher levels of authority that is commensurate with your peten -- with their potential. the second is the coordination at the division level gives them that training and experience that if we look at a near threat it is really critical that we are able to execute at that level. our divisions it does not only a great deterrent value for our nation but also
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standardizes all divisions across components of the u.s. army. sen. blackburn: are there any other additional authorities or tools that you need to complete this on time or hopefully completed early -- complete it early? >> it has been very coordinated with the state adjutant general and we look to support the and the effectiveness of the national guard. sen. blackburn: let's talk a little about cyber. wing that isess there in nashville -- we have the permanent cyber unit that is there. they are quite engaged. we are really proud of the work programs like and the cyber nine line are allowing these guard units to more
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effectively communicate with cybercrimes -- what you see as the rule -- role that units like that would play as we talk about the guard adopting to height and warfare -- high end warfare. >> you bring up a great point with respect to the national guard and cyber is where the national guard can provide great benefit to our nation. what it allows us to do is hire the cyber professionals, or have them be part of our military organizations, where they also do that in their civilian capacity. so they bring a lot of the skill set that they learn to the formations we use. going forward, we think it is critical, as we saw in texas and louisiana last year, to help mitigate cyber attacks on public systems or schools or any other
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part of our communities. we think it is critical they are available and there to help when they are needed. and also on the high end flight, because when you look at competitors, what they bring from their civilian job is absolutely beneficial with their military positions as well. sen. blackburn: we appreciate that. we think the guard is doing a tremendous job. lmes is doing -- ho a tremendous job leading the tennessee national guard, and we appreciate the service they have provided during the tornadoes that hit tennessee this year, and they also recently made a trip to d.c. and were here to help defend the capital. so thank you so much. we look forward to your confirmation. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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hopefully, i am the last person. generals, we are almost done. and lt. gen. congratulation on your nominations and a appreciate your willingness to take on these roles. i appreciated our conversation yesterday, lt. gen. hokanson, and i will begin with the interest of new hampshire, and our parochial interest, which i also believe is important to the country, the first air national 's.rd base to get the kc-4 we are excited about that, concerned about the issues that have affected the 46's and their ability to do refueling missions, we hope those get resolved soon. one challenge we have in new hampshire with 157th refueling
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isg hundred 20 of the airmen have been reassigned to different bases. ew think it is important that to the a commitment return as soon as possible, and in the meantime, if there are ways to provide missions that include medical evacuations or whatever, that can keep those 157th,orking out of the we think that would be important. can you agree that that is something you will work on in this new position? lt. gen. hokanson: if confirmed, i would work with the air force. they are getting their last -- this fall, i think it is important to work with the air force to get issues resolved on as kc-46 as quickly possible. >> thank you. we hope you come up and see the new planes when they do get on
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the tarmac. as we also discussed, many of our states are experiencing financial struggles right now. and as we tried to address the infrastructure needs of our national guard, and their readiness, are there things that can be done to help address the readiness piece? lt. gen. hokanson: absolutely. when we look at the state expenditures, particularly for some of the smaller states, we want to work with our states to make sure that we have, and they have, the right resources available so they can maintain required levels of readiness within their formations. >> can you talk about your views on the role of the national guard and the newly created space force, how you see that playing out? lt. gen. hokanson: thank you for that opportunity. when you look at the space capabilities within the national guard, we have been doing that mission for over 25 years and we currently have 18 units in eight
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states and one territory doing that. as the united states space force hasn't stood up, we have been advocates -- has stood up, we have been advocates that the units, the space units, that they should also be part of that as the national guard. >> right, thank you. oneral, thank you for taking the leadership of operation warp speed. weiously, i think that appreciate life is not going to get back to normal until we have a vaccine and the sooner that happens, the better. one challenge once we get the vaccine will be delivering it efficiently and effectively, making sure that we can immunize people against the coronavirus. and i have heard from a company in new hampshire that makes syringes that they need to order in advance of when the syringes
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will be needed, because of the supply chain issues that we have. is thatspeed -- something the operation warp speed is looking at, are you working on planning, how to get the vaccination out to people once we actually have a vaccination networks? gen. perna: exactly right. we are already engaged in working through the distribution plan and the course of action for the best way to that end. we do need to buy forward the secondary items, the needles, the syringes, alcohol pads, the ppe necessary to administer. we have already put in a mass order to that end, so it is being coordinated and tracked. the third thing, most important is the communication with the states to inform them on how we will do both. and we have not started that
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yet, but we will begin that in the near future. sen. shaheen: thank you. >>. thank you. >> if i could start with the general and come back to the question of our critical medical supply chains. as of february, there were reports that as many as 150 pharmaceutical drugs in the u.s. were threatened by the shutdown of chinese factories, that had dealt with chinese export controls. it complicated our ability to get foreign things such as our diagnostic kits and materials we needed. we have to try to get supplies wherever we can get them currently, but with all this in mind how do you assess our current reliance on china for critical medical supplies and can you give us a sense of what the biggest vulnerabilities are? gen. perna: i am not informed
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well enough to provide you the answer that you deserve to that question. hawley: can i follow up and get an answer once you have a chance to study further? gen. perna: i will be able to present to you in reflection for what we are trying to achieve in operation warp speed, if that is appropriate. sen. hawley: on to ask about our overreliance on chinese suppliers and how it affects our ability to get input so we may need to develop vaccines, both now and in the future. so expect questions on all those fronts. let me talk a little about about the 139th airlift wing in my home state of missouri, we are very proud of it. we had a chance to chat about it, provide technical airlift that is absolutely critical for maintaining deterrents all over the world, including in the indo pacific, which of the national
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defense strategy identifies as our priority theater. can you talk about what other unique capabilities or capacities of the guard can provide to support the implementation of the --? lt. gen. hokanson: the national defense strategy, in addition to providing trained forces whenever and wherever they are needed, another great opportunity, as we look at the growth of allies and partners, and as for our state partnership program which currently exists it with 89 nations around the globe, we added five this year, so we look forward to working with commanders and the state department and our national guard organizations around the u.s. to continue to develop those state partnerships, which gives us one more connection to a lot of those countries around the globe that are facing challenges from other countries as well. wley: give us a sense of
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the way the guard can help strengthen our relationship with critically -- in in particular. we gen. hokanson: an organ, had state partnerships with vietnam. it initially started out as a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. we helped them plan for disasters within their communities. we also learned from them as well. and by building that relationship over time, it allows us to train with them on events or issues within their military that they want to improve. and we learn a lot from that process as well. one of the great things it does is it starts to build an enduring relationship between us and them, which helps show the great values that america brings as a trusted partner. ask,hawley: let me general, i will come back to a topic that senator kaine touched on, the very large sustained
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mobilization of the guard that we are seeing now, in response to covid-19 and also in response to recent civil unrest across the country. can i follow up on his line of questioning by asking you how this extensive mobilization is affecting guard training and deployment cycles? lt. gen. hokanson: the great story in that is if you go back to earlier this month when we had 120,000 mobilized, it had no impact on our ability to meet our defense strategy commitments around the globe. we have been able to look forward to all of those units scheduled to deploy and make sure they were able to still meet their timelines throughout the process and going forward. sen. hawley: of current mobilization levels persist, do you expect making adjustments or an adjustment in order to maintain readiness levels?
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lt. gen. hokanson: not at this time, but we remain in close communication with our states to make sure that we can meet those, and that we try to resolve issues at the lowest level as quickly as possible. sen. hawley: thank you. >> thank you. the numbersnclude of senators and that will be asking questions. let me thank both of you. this went a little over what i thought and it does show the interest we all have in the missions you are taking on and we appreciate the fact that we have the two of you, i cannot see two people more qualified to carry on these missions than the two of you, so thank you for your time and your effort and your service. we are adjourned. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute,
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which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [indistinct conversations]
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[indiscernible] announcer: the supreme court today ruled against efforts to end daca, which allows noncitizens brought to the country illegally as children to apply for protection from deportation. chief justice john roberts joined the democratic appointees in a 5-4 decision. he also authored the majority opinion. the daca program, deferred action for childhood arrivals program, was created under the obama administration in 2012.
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the program permitted about 650,000 so-called dreamers to stay and work in the u.s. illegally, while waiting for a decision on their legal status. the house intelligence committee holds a hearing today to examine online foreign influence operations during the pandemic and as elections approach. c-span,ve at noon on online at, or listen on the free radio app. joining us as the former naacp president and the current president of people for the american way. you just took over as president for this group. what is theiewers group, how are they funded, and what are your priorities for it? guest: thank you. we started 40 years ago by a congressman. as and multiracial


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