Trump Admin Kicks off Operation Warp Speed to Manufacture Vaccine Before End of Year
Mark Esper has made a promise that could potentially live in infamy. He’s the United States defense secretary and this promise is as big as they come. Operation Warp Speed is here and it is headed up by Dr. Moncef Slaoui, a pharmaceutical executive. The operation’s objective is a simple one: to have a viable COVID-19 vaccine in the hands of all Americans by year’s end.
While some professionals have suggested that a vaccine could be made available by the end of 2020 for emergency usage purposes, this is the first time that anyone has been willing to make this sort of promise. Dr. Rick Bright was once the head of the top vaccine agency for the federal government.
He has been warning about the 12 to 18-month timeline that is being bandied about. It could lead to some very unrealistic expectations. This timeline does not cover all of the steps that are supposed to take place once the human clinical trials are completed. FDA authorization would still need to take place.
It would also take time for the vaccine to be prepared for release to the general public. We hope that Esper is right, for the sake of the population. However, we would be remiss if we did not mention the lack of feasibility here. Everyone would be thrilled if they were able to achieve this goal but people should not be planning their lives around it.
ESPER: "Winning matters and we will deliver by the end of this year a vaccine at scale." (That's a very bold promise.) pic.twitter.com/lKKEzBMCJp
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 15, 2020
There is a wide range of competing vaccines in the process of being tested now. No one is sure which of them will become the new vaccine that we rely upon at the moment. There is simply too much that needs to be done at the moment. To the best of our knowledge, there are at least four vaccines competing to make their way into American hands first.
The experts who have been insisting on the 12 to 18-month timeline are going to be left holding the bag when this deadlines comes and goes. By the time next summer rolls around, people are going to be looking to the experts (like Dr. Anthony Fauci) who have been preaching about the aforementioned timeline. For the sake of the nation, we hope that these people are right.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump has to be praying for any vaccine that he can find. His chances of being re-elected are not being endangered by the candidate that the Democrats have trotted out. No one is worried that he is going to lose votes to a senile (alleged) rapist. Instead, he may simply lose votes to the silent enemy that he cannot contain.
I am concerned that the President is promising a vaccine by the end of the year and that decision-makers will be under immense pressure to approve/endorse one by then whether or not such approval/endorsement is scientifically warranted.
— IllegallySmearingHat (@Popehat) May 15, 2020
In his world, it would probably be best if we had access to a vaccine by the time Election Day rolls around. If Operation Warp Speed can have a vaccine in everyone’s hands by the time this calendar year is complete, that does not help the current president all that much. He would be a lame duck by this point in time.
At the very least, Trump is hoping to have some positive information to provide to the voters before November. On the other hand, political pressure and scientific advancements do not exactly go hand in hand. We worry that Trump will allow his current predicament to dictate his decision making in a way that is going to be uncomfortable for the rest of us.
Of course, there are those who want the United States to beat China to the punch. They are in the process of developing their own vaccine. If they are able to unveil a finished product before the US can, they will be able to rub our noses in it. Communist backers are going to claim that this is another defeat for capitalism and quite frankly, we would not be looking forward to that.
Questions: What happens if It’s China who develops the vaccine? Will the US still have access to that vaccine?
Trump: Uhhh I would say the answer to that would be yes pic.twitter.com/vRJMl4tKFe
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) May 15, 2020
This may also cause a higher level of antagonism between the Chinese and the United States. Would we even be willing to ask the Chinese for access to the vaccine that they have developed? While a Democratic president might not have any issues with such a request, a Republican could free differently. It’s a quandary that we hope we never have to experience.
Trump’s desperation for a full reopen is the elephant in the room at the moment. He wants to reopen everything, whether we have access to a vaccine or not. This does not seem wise but what do we know? Dr. Moncef Slaoui claims to be confident about the development of a vaccine before the year is over and for his sake, we hope that he is right. Otherwise, he is going to be in for a rude awakening once people remember his initial promise.