Political pressure in America’s fight to find a Covid-19 vaccine
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Political pressure in America’s fight to find a Covid-19 vaccine

Because a new vaccine usually takes many years to develop, Operation Warp Speed’s goal of allowing widespread public access to the Covid-19 vaccine in October is considered extremely ambitious.

However, with about 1,000 people dying every day, tens of millions of people unemployed, the economy plummeting and schools unlikely to reopen, the US government is still determined to pour billions of dollars into pharmaceutical companies and pharmaceutical companies.

The deadline proposed by the US Department of Health and Human Services is also noteworthy, because it takes place right before the November presidential election. Although White House officials did not mention the election in the discussions.

White House spokesman Judd Deere affirmed that accelerating the research, development, testing and distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine to serve Trump’s highest priority is the health and safety of Americans, `

However, under constant pressure from the White House, researchers are still concerned about political motives, while trying to ensure the government maintains a balance between speed and strict vaccine standards, so that it is safe enough.

A scientist researches the Covid-19 vaccine at a laboratory in San Diego, California, USA, on March 17.

The `father` of Operation Speed ​​is Dr. Peter Marks, head of the regulatory unit at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the agency responsible for approving vaccines and treatments.

According to a source familiar with the matter, many health officials believe that the deadline for successfully developing a vaccine before October is unrealistic.

He shook hands with US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, the head of an agency that has long had experience developing and distributing vaccines to protect the military.

White House advisor Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, and Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House’s Covid-19 task force, have agreed to assign the position of chief scientific advisor of the campaign to Moncef Slaoui, a periodontal expert.

Immediately after Slaoui’s appointment, Dr. Marks left the project he built and returned to work full-time in a senior management position at the FDA, where he will serve as a key decision maker.

The US government conducts the `hunt` for a vaccine at an urgent pace.

Pharmaceutical companies report their trial results periodically, aiming to speed up the vaccine evaluation process.

The two leading `candidates` currently are the vaccine developed by biotechnology corporation Moderna in conjunction with the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and the vaccine that has just begun phase three testing.

Scientists warn of the dangers of `cutting corners` on the vaccine expected to inoculate about 300 million Americans, adding that a failed effort would cause public distrust of vaccines in general.

Despite the efforts of the Trump administration and pharmaceutical companies, the initial October target was believed to be out of reach, forcing officials to move the deadline to the end of the year or early 2021. Meanwhile,

`The US Department of Health and Human Services hopes that Operation Speed ​​will reach 300 million doses of safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines for Americans by January 2021. We know that is optimistic. I have not

The spokesman also dismissed skepticism that the vaccine would be approved before it is ready.

Still, experts inside and outside the government have expressed concern that the White House will push the FDA to review incomplete data, then approve at least one limited-distribution, potentially emergency vaccine.

Political pressure in America's fight to find a Covid-19 vaccine

Dr. Birx (left) and Secretary Azar at the White House on May 6.

`A lot of insiders are extremely worried that the government will step in with Operation Flash, pull out one, two or three vaccines and say they’ve tested it on a few thousand people and it’s safe enough to deploy.`

It is unclear whether the approval of the Covid-19 vaccine right before the election will affect the voting results or not.

`I don’t know whether the vaccine can help Trump turn the political tide,` said Sarah Longwell, a conservative Republican strategist.

Pharmaceutical companies are arguably caught in the middle.

`They are acutely aware of political motives. A failed vaccine would cause widespread harm to their business. It makes no sense to bet on the reputation of not just the vaccine, but the entire product.`

Meanwhile, White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci, director of NIAID, still expressed confidence that the situation will be controlled.

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