Jim Shella asserts that Pfizer was not part of Operation Warp Speed and therefore President Trump’s administration had no role in their vaccine development [Trump doesn’t deserve credit for COVID vaccine, Forefront, Dec. 11]. While they may not have taken money up front, they had a contract to purchase a vaccine in advance of the development for $2 billion for 100 million doses with the rights to purchase 500 million more for an additional $8 billion. The U.S. government guaranteed Pfizer a market for their product should they be able to develop it. So, did the Trump administration facilitate the development? Absolutely. Did the Trump administration take down barriers to approvals that normally take years? Absolutely. Is President Trump solely responsible for the vaccine development? Absolutely NOT.
The federal government created an expedited pathway that lowered the cost of development to the pharmaceutical companies, guaranteed them a market to sell their product, and therefore it was a team effort. In my opinion it was one of the best public-private partnerships to achieve a goal as quick as possible. When President Trump said months ago that there would be a vaccine before Christmas, those who disagree with him laughed at him and said another crazy prediction. What are they saying now?
Should Trump say it is all because of him? Of course not. Should Pfizer say they accomplished this all on their own? No, they should not.
Granted, the Pfizer scientists are some of the smartest people in the world, and I am grateful to every one of them. They did take a risk, because if they ultimately failed to deliver a product, then they would spend all the money in vain. But they are smart businesspeople as well and ran the numbers and calculated the risk, and with the federal government guarantee of the $8 billion in purchases, they felt the risk was worth it and they were right.
Mr. Shella is as much wrong as President Trump in saying who the credit should go to. Everyone involved needs to come together and say “great work” by all parties to accomplish this tremendous goal!
H. Todd Hoopingarner
Solutions Healthcare Management