Despite all justified criticism of the US government’s leadership under President Donald Trump during the crisis, Operation Warp Speed is a testimony that almost anything is possible if resources are used correctly.
Quick US Progress on COVID Vaccines
The second vaccine against the coronavirus was released in the United States earlier this week. Manufacturer Moderna plans to deliver up to 20 million doses by the end of December. The US health authority FDA had already approved the vaccine on Friday.
Previously, 128,000 Americans had received their COVID vaccination approved by the US pharmaceutical company Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech.
Never before has a vaccine against a new virus been developed in such a short amount of time. This is an historic success. It is also a desperately needed one, as the number of COVID infections continues to rise rapidly.
The High Death Toll of COVID-19
Seventy-seven million people have been recorded as infected with COVID-19 worldwide and 1.7 million have died from the virus to date. The US alone now has over 319,000 COVID-19 related deaths. Every day an average of 2,000 Americans die from the effects of the virus, as many as on 9/11.
The vaccinations offer a bright spot in an otherwise brutally mismanaged crisis under the Trump administration. After all, his government launched Operation Warp Speed.
Operation Warp Speed
The project ensured that the authorities, scientists, and companies’ efforts led together to achieve the goal more smoothly than ever. Most importantly, the government allocated $14 billion into its fight for a vaccine.
For example, Moderna has received over $ 4 billion in direct research aid. Moreover, Operation Warp Speed helped Pfizer and its German partner, with the US government pledging $ 2 billion in doses when the new vaccine was not yet proven effective.
Trump has never been shy about questioning scientific findings and arguably exacerbated the pandemic’s impact by downplaying the virus as merely the flu, not urging Americans to wear masks for months and holding super spreader events – most famously in the Rose Garden. However it was also Trump who ensured that a process that generally takes up to ten years and more was completed in record time.
Even Biden is Giving the Trump Administration Credit
Even President-elect Joe Biden has credited the Trump administration, saying it deserved “some credit for getting us off the ground with Operation Warp Speed.”
The fact that the pandemic broke out during his now lost battle for re-election certainly played an important role. Trump was hoping for the medical breakthrough to outshine his other failures in crisis management.
Accordingly, he reacted angrily when Pfizer published the excellent results of clinical studies only after the election date on November 3. However, selfish motivation doesn’t take away from Trump’s triumph.
A Glimmer of Hope
For the politically and socially-torn US, the pioneering act is a glimmer of hope and not only because of COVID-19. Operation Warp Speed shows that Washington is still capable of great things when it matters. The allies of the superpower still trust this.
China and Russia have also developed vaccinations and started administering them earlier. However, Western industrialized nations continue to put their faith in the largely US-supported initiative. Biden can build on this basis.
Last but not least, the nation owes its success to the government employees who Trump himself so often reviled. The state apparatus that he and his supporters wanted so much to slander, and which, indeed, often appears utterly paralyzed, has provided the president with his only real success in fighting the pandemic – despite the fact that he currently negates federal employees by clinging on to his claim of an allegedly stolen election.