Operation Warp Speed II Runs Into Trouble: All But Grounded

operation warp speed

The Trump administration initiated Operation Warp Speed to deliver a coronavirus vaccine to Americans by the end of 2020. It brought in the top minds in pharma, academia, and the administration to succeed in the plan. But phase two of the operation started by President Biden has run aground and is fast running out of steam.

The initial Operation Warp Speed was headed by former GlaxoSmithKline vaccine head Moncef Slaoui and incorporated the Department of Health and Human Services, the defense department, and other agencies brought together to advance promising vaccines against COVID-19.

Even President Biden had earlier commended the Trump administration as being partially responsible for making the US one of the first countries to get the vaccine and personally praised Trump for being open about receiving the booster dose.

Operation Warp Speed Has Achieved Little Progress Recently

Even as the Omicron phase of the pandemic ebbed at the beginning of 2022, top officials in the Biden administration came up with new ways to strengthen the nation’s medical ability to fight any future strain of the coronavirus. But the present administration’s attempt to develop a new COVID-19 vaccine and treatment accelerator has been not much of a success from the start.

The revival of the previous Operation Warp Speed took the route of pairing private sector know-how with the might of the federal dollars to deliver the first round of vaccines in record time. The plan was to replicate the formula with a range of fresh candidates and churn out advanced treatments and vaccines before other nations came up with their version of it.

But operation warp speed has barely moved ahead for months. The Biden administration has barely been able to invest much in the face of non-cooperation by the Republican opposition. There are concerns within the federal administration that this could leave the US vulnerable to future attacks by new variants. The US trails China in new COVID-linked scientific breakthroughs.

The response coordinator for COVID-19 at the White House, Ashish Jha has said that the US cannot afford to sit on the sidelines while other nations steal a march over US readiness for the pandemic.