Operation Warp Speed: The USA’s Solution to COVID-19

The Trump Administration’s plan to develop and distribute COVID-19 vaccines and other methods of treatments

Operation Warp Speed: The USAs Solution to COVID-19

Andrew Carlin

In 1894, the state of Vermont saw its first wave of polio infections in epidemic form. This debilitating condition affected the spinal cord predominantly, altering and even destroying the lives of those infected. The US scrambled to find a vaccine that could combat this virus, much like today. Following the same parallels the US government set over 100 years ago, the Trump administration founded Operation Warp Speed, the federal government’s plan to facilitate and accelerate the development and distribution of the future coronavirus vaccine.

Operation Warp Speed is a collaboration between the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), and the Department of Defense (DoD). It is overseen by HHS Secretary Alex Azar and Defense Secretary Mark Esper, with Dr. Moncef Slaoui as the chief advisor and Gen. Gustave F. Perna as the chief operating officer.

Beginning with the development of the coronavirus vaccine, there are multiple vaccines being developed by different companies, countries, and non-profit organizations; like the AZD1222 vaccine or the BNT162 vaccine. These companies are aiming to develop working vaccines, meaning that they are effective at preventing infection on 50% or more of their test subjects. As soon as any one of the vaccines is proven to be safe and effective, the federal government will begin to distribute and administer them. However, people could continue to wear a mask even after vaccination to insure the safety of those who have not been vaccinated.

The American people continue to wait for the vaccine, but there are plans in place for when there is a vaccine to distribute. Operation Warp Speed has been in the works for almost five months now, with people across the country cooperating to ensure the future safety of the public. Until it is safe not to do so, people are advised to continue wearing a mask and following social distancing protocols. Story by Andrew Carlin. Information from HHS.gov and amhistory.si.edu.