OPINION By Michael Goodwin
The New York Post – It is now an established fact that the numerous naysayers who predicted President Trump could never deliver a vaccine this year were wrong. Thankfully, he did what they insisted couldn’t be done.
But the no-can-do crowd now has a second puerile act: a miserly and grudging recognition of the miracle Trump and his team performed.
Those expressing pinched gratitude for a fact they can’t deny include the man who has reason to be the most thankful of all Americans.
“I think that the administration deserves some credit getting this off the ground with Operation Warp Speed,” Joe Biden said as he got his Trump vaccine shot.
“Some credit?” Then who deserves the rest of the credit?
Notice, too, that Biden can’t bring himself to say “President Trump.” It’s just the “administration” that deserves “some credit.”
This is stingy stuff. Imagine for a second that Trump had not pushed as hard as he did and instead allowed the vaccine research, development and human trials to follow the usual drawn-out process through the maze of approval checkpoints.
That would mean a delay of possibly four or five years, putting the vaccine’s debut near or after the end of Biden’s term. In the long interval, how many more Americans would have died from the coronavirus? Half a million more? A million, 2 million?
Whatever the additional horrific toll, the worst clearly has been avoided and many, many lives have been saved. Think also of the economic impacts of going another four or five years without a vaccine. Repeated waves of infections would have been met with more lockdowns and restrictions, slashing or eliminating income to tens of millions of families and driving cities and states closer to bankruptcy. Even Washington’s money-printing presses would have had trouble keeping up.
There’s little doubt how Biden himself would have reacted absent a vaccine. He said during the campaign he would “follow the science” and if that meant national lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, so be it. One of his top advisers suggested a lockdown across the country lasting “four to six weeks” would control the pandemic and allow the economy to reopen.
Right, except remember that the initial lockdowns were going to be for just two weeks and that would be enough to flatten the curve. That was nine months ago. In fact, the Trump vaccine is a great gift to the nation and the world, and that includes the Biden administration. Its agenda on issues like climate and tax hikes would have been dead on arrival without a way to reopen the country and give people hope that better and safer days are coming.
The vaccine also will allow Biden to pursue something like a normal presidency in that he will no longer be forced to shun most human contact because of his age and health problems. He campaigned primarily from his Delaware basement, but it is inconceivable he could have governed while being isolated in the Oval Office and locked down in the White House.
The vaccine will free him personally, so it shouldn’t be asking too much for Biden to acknowledge Trump’s contribution in a complete and honest way. But apparently it is asking too much.
Nonetheless, getting the vaccine successfully produced and with millions of doses now being distributed and administered, Operation Warp Speed must be counted as Trump’s greatest achievement as president. It is hard to believe any other modern commander in chief would have done it nearly as well, let alone better.