Go away and hide,
President Trump, because you botched the handling of COVID-19 except for one teensy thing, starting Operation Warp Speed to develop vaccines
faster than history allows. Well, yes, the
Pfizer Inc. pharmaceutical company right now has the leading one and pretty soon it could start protecting as many as 25 million lives.
But look, Warp Speed is only providing $1.95 billion to the company for millions of doses it plans to distribute for free
around the country, and therefore, you should admit guilt, hide your head in shame and take no credit for saving anyone.
It is amazing, utterly amazing that, no matter what Trump accomplishes, he hasn't done it, at least not in the eyes of regressive
progressives, pseudo-intellectuals and some supposedly fair media analysts forever putting monster masks on friendly facts.
And yet, for all of his front-page flubs, he has moved decisively and with impact on the virus from early on and has perhaps
done nothing more important than instituting the Warp Speed adventure in answer to a sad issue.
That issue would be that finding a vaccine to stop a killer germ can often take four, five, 10 or 15 years if one is ever
found at all. Phooey, said Trump, as he and his team worked with governmental agencies, scientists, universities and eager-beaver
foreign and national pharmaceutical companies to get a reputable vaccine and get it in a hurry. It was almost as if Trump
transmitted his own relentless energy into the project as unneeded regulatory hindrances were removed from the scene and new,
more efficient methods of checking safety and effectiveness were developed.
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The pharmaceutical companies, outstanding from the beginning, still had all kinds of needs not easily acquired, and the project
said here they are. The government also entered public-private partnerships in which it has spent billions funding research
and production at private companies.
Pfizer, working with a major, genius-gifted, German medical firm,
BioNTech, said it would pay for its own production but would happily accept a couple of billion dollars as the government purchases
and delivers free doses as quickly and usefully as possible.
That's what really counts, as one expert has interestingly expressed it: the vaccination, not the vaccine. And this kind of
delivery guarantee can keep a company plugging away even if things get tough. The New York Times reports that international
health organizations caught on to the value of this technique long ago, and it is surely a good idea to copy good ideas. Pretty
Moderna, an American firm that did get Warp Speed production funding, is likely to announce its success, too, and some say the combined
dosage could be enough to save the world.
Naturally enough, Trump's Twitter-encouraged enemies in politics, on the internet, in publications, behind bushes and starring
Hollywood don't want to grant him an inch even if he deserves a mile. It has erroneously been made to sound as if
Pfizer has benefitted in no important way from Warp Speed, and a number are upset that deliveries are expected by the end of this
year. Their argument is that the politically motivated Trump administration won't do the checking correctly and we should
all wait for
Joe Biden to be in charge even if the virus is right now surging wildly and killing 1,000 and more people a week. See how much they
Anthony Fauci, a highly respected leader on the Trump virus task force and someone who himself has been in conflict with the president,
sounds as optimistic as optimistic gets and is positive about 2021. Not everything is going to happen at once, but he says
the vaccine "is going to have a major impact on everything we do with respect to COVID." There are many people deserving our
gratitude, and the president is one of them, no matter how hard that is to believe.
Jay Ambrose, formerly Washington director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers and the editor of dailies in El Paso, Texas, and Denver, is a columnist living in Colorado.