President-elect should keep hands off Operation Warp Speed

Joe Biden is fearmongering that “more people may die” because the Trump administration hasn’t begun transitioning oversight over the COVID-19 vaccines to the Biden team. “There was a plan for 300 million doses to be available at the end of the year. What they’re reporting now is 20 to 30 million doses available. Why? Where are the bottlenecks? ”
A confused Biden mixed up the numbers. Dr. Moncef Slaoui, head of Operation Warp Speed, predicts 20 million doses will be shipped out on Dec. 11 and 12, and immediately administered to health care workers and other high-risk populations, including the elderly, in all 50 states.
Every month thereafter, tens of millions more doses will be delivered according to a precision plan, with delivery sites already designated by each state’s health department. By May, Slaoui predicts, enough Americans will have been vaccinated to create herd immunity, allowing the nation to get back to normal. That will be the most impressive public health triumph in a century.
Provided politics doesn’t blow it up. Biden’s advisers have dangerous ideas about who should get vaccinated first. That could spell trouble. Already, globalist groups like the World Health Organization and the World Trade Organization are objecting that the U.S. has purchased hundreds of millions of doses, putting Americans ahead of residents of poor countries. The WHO wants every country to get a vaccine supply based on its population, sending 2% to each country, and then ramping up to 20%. That would doom the U.S. to continued suffering because herd immunity requires about a 70% vaccination rate.
What’s scary is that Biden’s advisers buy into this globalist mentality. God help us if they interfere with Operation Warp Speed.
One of Biden’s COVID-19 advisers, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, slams “vaccine nationalism,” calling it unethical that the rich countries developing vaccines get first dibs. “Bad, bad” is Emanuel’s response to the U.S. plan. Emanuel, a member of several WHO advisory groups, argues in the journal Science that vaccines should be reserved initially for the poorest countries and countries with younger populations first because vaccinating an elderly person saves fewer life years than vaccinating a younger person.
The American public paid to be first. The Trump administration used taxpayer dollars to prepay for millions of doses of vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna before they were approved. That reduced the development risk for those companies and ensured priority access. Several European countries took similar steps.
That’s doesn’t mean the rest of the world should not be helped. Astra Zeneca and Oxford University, which announced positive results for their vaccine on Monday, plans to distribute it across the Third World at no profit, for as little as $3 to $5 a dose, and to enlist many manufacturers to do the same. The vaccine requires no refrigeration, a big plus for global distribution.
Meanwhile, the best Americans can hope for is that Biden and his political appointees don’t meddle in this nation’s vaccine distribution plan.
Too bad Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board has other ideas. Dr. Celine Gounder, a New York University global health professor and Biden adviser, says Operation Warp Speed needs to be overhauled to put more emphasis on things other than vaccines, including testing and “providing political backing” to local governments to “support things that might be unpopular.” Translation: shutdowns. That’s crazy. Vaccines will make these draconian options unnecessary.
Though the Trump administration conceived and launched Operation Warp Speed, Slaoui explains that the vaccine rollout has been done totally “isolated from the (Trump) administration, from the political environment and political context.” He added “no political interference, no bureaucracy, no red tape.” He hopes that will continue after the Jan. 20 inauguration.
Message to Biden: Hands off this medical miracle.
Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York and author of “The Next Pandemic,” available at Amazon.com.

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