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NBC, AFP: Say, why are the wealthiest nations “hoarding” half of COVID-19 vaccine doses?

Hoarding? In the first place, how do you “hoard” what hasn’t even been produced yet? In the second place, the US doesn’t plan to “hoard” anything — they plan to vaccinate the entire population. They’re not buying it to keep it in freezers forever.

But even that is a minor issue in a profoundly dishonest approach by both NBC and AFP. These nations didn’t “snap up” vaccines by elbowing their way into line. The reason these vaccines will exist at all in 2022 is because the wealthier nations pumped billions and billions of dollars into the pharmaceutical companies in order to accelerate their development. The fastest development cycle for a vaccine before this was four years, and that was for mumps in the early 60s.

The nations that did this bought tens and hundreds of millions of doses up front without even knowing whether they would be safe or effective, essentially buying hundreds of millions of pigs in pokes and hoping for the best. They accelerated reviews and approval processes to make R&D less costly for the pharmas, also enhancing their speed to final product. That was the entire purpose of Operation Warp Speed, a multibillion-dollar gamble by Americans in the hope of accelerating the path to an effective vaccine. Other countries, notably the UK and Germany, put similar strategies in place with the same goal. Those efforts are the reason why a vaccine exists at all, and likely why it exists before 2022, too. The nations that took the financial risks of that moonshot should benefit from their investment — especially since it took the form of buying those unknown doses in the first place.

Nowhere in the AFP or NBC reports does this extraordinary program even get a mention. That’s stunningly dishonest, and it’s tough to conclude anything other than these news agencies made the deliberate choice to exclude that information from its readers.

Operation Warp Speed was a triumph. But they don’t want to admit that, because you can’t spell “triumph” without Trump. . .



h/t Glenn


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