In his May 14 column “Losing our fears, in war and plague,” Victor Davis Hanson recalls the monumental industrial effort that backed our effort to win World War II. Arthur Herman wrote the book on the subject. I thought of Victor’s column and Herman’s book when President Trump announced the ambitious plan to develop a COVID-19 vaccine and manufacture hundreds of millions of doses by the end of 2020.
The project has been given the name Operation Warp Speed. Trump himself recalled the Manhattan Project in his announcement of the project (White House text here). He named Dr. Moncef Slaoui — “a world-renowned immunologist who helped create 14 new vaccines — that’s a lot of our new vaccines — in 10 years, during his time in the private sector” — to head the effort.
I should probably add this quotable quote from Trump’s announcement: “I just want to make something clear. It’s very important: Vaccine or no vaccine, we’re back.”