(Deroy Murdock, Headline USA) Another week, another COVID-19 vaccine.
President Donald J. Trump is piling up China-virus inoculations almost as quickly as Middle East peace agreements.
Just four days the president brokered a Dec. 10 rapprochement between Israel and Morocco—the fourth such Trump-inspired olive branch between the Jewish state and its Arab neighbors in four months—Pfizer introduced its immunization against COVID-19.
On Dec. 14, a Queens, New York-based critical-care nurse named Sandra Lindsay became the first American to receive Pfizer’s vaccine as its public rollout began.
Pfizer’s shot entered Lindsay’s left arm exactly nine months and one day after President Trump declared the COVID-19 national emergency on March 13.
On Monday, Americans started getting Moderna’s vaccine, a mere week after Pfizer’s.
This is revolutionary. Vaccines typically take 10 to 15 years to produce. The anti-mumps inoculation was the previous record-breaker. It traveled four years from notion to needle.
Operation Warp Speed (OWS), Trump’s immunological Manhattan Project, deserves its name. Regardless, with one key exception, Trump’s critics have denied him credit for this stunning achievement.
In fact, their comments have traced a bizarre trajectory:
First, Trump’s foes begged for a vaccine.
- Governor Andrew Cuomo, D-NY, said April 13: “I don’t think ultimate resolution comes until you have a vaccine.”
- Governor Tom Wolf, D-Penn., said May 20 that he wants his economy back to normal, but “I really think that can’t happen fully, 100 percent, until we have a vaccine that is foolproof.”
Second, as in the Gershwin tune, they all laughed when Trump promised to do exactly what they wanted, and quickly.
- “It’s another day of POTUS in Wonderland,” Irwin Redlener, M.D., scoffed. He assured MSNBC on May 15: “It is impossible to get that done by the end of the year.”
- OWS “lacks sound leadership, global vision, or a strategy for securing the necessary funding to see this mission through,” Joe Biden’s campaign website still argues.
Third, Trump’s tormentors now pretend that he had nothing to do with keeping his promise.
- As Sandra Lindsay took the first Pfizer vaccine, CNN aired Gov. Cuomo watching live, via satellite from Albany, as if he fathered OWS.
- “Joe Biden, committed to ending and crushing the virus,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. “That is a total game changer: a new President and a vaccine.” So, Biden did this?
However, on Monday afternoon, Biden said the right thing.
Moments after receiving Pfizer’s vaccine, he declared: “The Administration deserves some credit for getting this off the ground with Operation Warp Speed.”
So, what did Biden see that other Democrats missed? What did President Trump do to get these vaccines into American deltoids?
- Trump launched OWS on May 15 and recruited pharmaceutical companies into this public-private partnership. He then challenged, pressured, and embarrassed them until they delivered. He also committed some $18 billion to this initiative.
- President Trump rode the FDA and other federal agencies like a jockey. He slapped their ribs with a riding crop as they leapt over red tape, delays and institutional over-caution.
- He pre-purchased multiple drug companies’ output, thus limiting their financial risk, even if their vaccine candidates failed.
- In an unprecedented innovation, Trump instructed drug makers to produce millions of doses, simultaneously with clinical trials. Thus, within 24 hours of FDA approval, trucks began to empty inoculation-packed warehouses.
Hate Trump, Inc. often calls the president “a bully.” His praise for Team OWS notwithstanding, it’s unclear whether Trump also bullied the medical researchers, pharmaceutical executives, and military logisticians who manned this effort.
However, these organizations and individuals likely were motivated by Trump’s tough, hands-on, “Papa don’t take no mess” style.
Trump’s enemies long for a lovable, cuddly Mr. Rogers type in the Oval Office. “National Grandpa” Joe Biden might be that man.
But if Operation Warp Speed had been led by a nice guy in a cardigan sweater, the vaccines now entering American arms still would be getting squirted into mice.
Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor, a contributing editor with National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research. Bucknell University’s Michael Malarkey contributed research to this opinion piece.