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VACCINE SCIENTISTS TO BIDEN: BE MORE LIKE TRUMP. Before his disastrous departure from office, former President Donald Trump left a solid list of accomplishments regarding the economy, the courts, national security, and more. But perhaps his most significant achievement was Operation Warp Speed, which produced a COVID vaccine faster than nearly anyone believed possible. Yes, the vaccine’s effectiveness has proven more limited than originally thought, but there is no doubt it has saved a massive number of lives since the first shots were administered a year ago.
Trump, who admires and sometimes cites the great U.S. World War II generals, did it by taking a World War II-like approach to the COVID pandemic. He threw money at the problem. Enormous amounts of money. He funded redundant research among competing organizations. He pushed the bureaucracy, and then pushed some more. He pressured scientists to do more than they thought they could.
Presidential candidate Joe Biden, of course, claimed he would do a better job. Once in office, President Biden’s main policy was to push the Trump-developed vaccine. But Biden was caught flat-footed when the delta variant hit, and he has seemed unsure of what to do ever since. Public approval of Biden’s handling of the pandemic, once the mainstay of his job approval rating, has steadily declined.
Now, with the omicron variant at the fore, some vaccine scientists are urging Biden to be more like Trump. They would, of course, never say it that way — who would risk the media ostracism? — but they are urging the president to create a new Operation Warp Speed to further vaccine science against the virus.
“Omicron’s potential to be the first variant requiring [an updated vaccine] has several high-profile scientists arguing that the Biden administration needs to think bigger,” reports Politico Playbook in an article headlined “VACCINE SCIENTISTS TO BIDEN: YOU NEED A NEW OPERATION WARP SPEED.” “They want the president to lead a global effort to develop a so-called super vaccine, one that would protect against any new variant of coronavirus.”
“We need a universal coronavirus vaccine that’s not affected by variants,” Scripps Research Translational Institute’s Eric Topol toldPolitico. “We can do this but there hasn’t been the will or the prioritizing. Many months ago, before Omicron, we could have had an Operation Warp Speed-like effort to take this on.” Added Bruce Gellin of the Rockefeller Foundation: “This is probably the most important project we can undertake.”
But it’s so big that it needs government funding and direction. “Labs currently working on a variant-proof Covid vaccine are scattered around the U.S. and often duplicate each other’s work,” Politiconoted. “The National Institutes of Health hasn’t made the issue a priority.”
That’s where another Operation Warp Speed comes in. Trump realized that to attack a huge problem in record time would take a big, coordinated, heavily funded effort. And that is what he did, even though many in the media scoffed at the idea when Trump announced Operation Warp Speed in March 2020.
Now, Biden should look to Trump as an example of leadership on the issue of vaccine development. Of course, Biden could never admit that is what he is doing. No Democrat could, either. And many in the media would blanch if they did. But the sooner Biden follows Trump on this issue, the better.
For a deeper dive into many of the topics covered in the Daily Memo, please listen to my podcast, The Byron York Show — available on the Ricochet Audio Network and everywhere else podcasts can be found. You can use this link to subscribe.