…companies like Germany-based BioNTech, its Boston-based competitor Moderna, and the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer have also been racing for a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow. There would be no Covid-19 vaccine today had there been no venture capitalists prepared to invest before a product or profit was visible, no corporate leadership willing to double down with the companies’ own money in the spring to fund a crash effort to produce a vaccine by year-end, and no researchers pursuing a dream about mRNA as an unprecedented route for vaccines.
Second is Operation Warp Speed. Had Mr. Trump not created the initiative, appointed as its leader a man who knows the vaccine development world, and given him license to spend $10 billion outside normal contracting procedures, Covid-19 vaccines would still be only works in progress. Even after they were finally approved, the vaccines’ distribution could have been long delayed. Imagine a world in which Mr. Trump had not appointed as deputy head of the operation a general who knows logistics and had the authority to write contracts with FedEx and UPS to book space on their airplanes and in their network of distribution centers.
So as Americans now look forward to getting vaccinated and resuming our normal lives, we should pause to give thanks to a remarkable group of scientists and entrepreneurs whose capitalism-fed competitive drive pushed them to venture into the unknown—for fortune and fame. And to a deeply flawed, often dysfunctional disrupter in chief who in this case certainly did a good thing.