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Operation Warp Speed...Not So Fast!

Finding a vaccine should not be like a reality show competition with the White House as the prize.

The push to get a vaccine for the coronavirus has been dubbed Operation Warp Speed. It is an effort to find a cure for the pandemic. The faster a vaccine is developed, the better it will be for Trump, politically. So, it’s no surprise that he is pushing for research companies to develop this as quickly as possible.

When it comes to the vaccine, there are those who will refuse to take it, and there are two camps in this way of thinking.

The first is, predictably, the anti-vaxxers. These are the same people who, for years, have placed others at risk by refusing to get themselves and their children protected against what are now preventable diseases. The second group is those who fear that the rushed way in which the vaccine is being researched means there hasn’t been enough time to carefully examine the long term consequences of the vaccine.

It sounds like the plot to a science fiction movie, where scientists rush to find a cure to a pandemic only to turn the population into flesh eating zombies.

Lawyers are no doubt salivating at the thought of the potential lawsuits that could result from the after-effects of a rushed “cure”. All you have to do is turn on the television. Programming is replete with ad after ad for some medication or other, followed by the rushed description of the side-effects.

Rather than looking out for the public interest, Trump is looking at the political upswing he would hope to see if a vaccine is developed before the November election. The fact he is relying on an unproven, as as of yet undiscovered, drug shows just how desperate he is.

In his book The Room Where it Happened, former National Security Advisor John Bolton states, “he didn’t see anything where [re-election] was not a factor”. His actions demanding a cure be rushed is certainly evidence of this.

With his abysmal response to the pandemic, the economy faultering, his job performance ratings, (and we all know Trump is ALL about ratings) in a free fall, Trump’s only hope to win the 2020 election is a Hail Mary. As a result , he is pushing for a coronavirus cure, no matter who he is putting at risk.

Meanwhile, there are several labs attempting to find a vaccine, and medical experts are concerned that, in the race to be first, they are taking shortcuts, making the final product even riskier.

Instead of cooperating with labs around the world, Trump has American companies in his own reality show style competition. Indeed, labs have been approved for almost $2 billon for doses of a yet undeveloped vaccine. Another thing that is interfering with this process is interference by Russian hackers who are trying to steal their research in an effort to take their own shortcut to a cure.

So, here we are in the middle of the most serious health crisis in a century with no coherent strategy and no cohesive direction coming from the White House. Instead, there is more of the same childish (and racist) name-calling. There is the ridiculous claim that the coronavirus will one day magically disappear. And finally, there is the headlong rush to find a vaccine before the November election.

This is not the way to keep America safe. Finding a vaccine should not be like a reality show competition with the White House as the prize.

But sadly…here we are.

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