Trump's Legacy: Operation Warp Speed Leads to Landmark Discovery That Could Eliminate HIV


Last year, President Donald Trump’s administration worked alongside pharmaceutical companies to develop multiple COVID-19 vaccines in record time. Now, the technology from one of those vaccines may be used to create even more medical breakthroughs.

According to Fortune, a nonprofit drug developer called IAVI released preliminary results for an HIV vaccine in February. The story started to gain traction on social media when health activist Dr. Ayoade Alakija tweeted about it last week.

“New HIV vaccine with a 97% antibody response rate in phase I human trials,” she wrote. “This is the most effective trial HIV vaccine to date. It is based on the Moderna’s COVID vaccine.”

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Alakija’s Twitter account indicates that she leans toward the left side of the aisle, and she describes herself in her bio as an “activist for social justice.” Yet even she admitted that the Trump administration left a lasting legacy with the medical advances it helped discover.

Of course, she did not mention Trump by name, but his Operation Warp Speed is undeniably what caused the “COVID tech acceleration” that she tweeted about.

Fortune reported that these positive results are just the first phase of what will likely be a long process in developing a potential HIV vaccine. Even so, the results provide reason for hope.

“[T]he experimental vaccine produced antibody precursor B cells in 97% of participants,” the magazine reported. “As with COVID and other viruses, the right antibodies theoretically bind to HIV’s spike proteins, preventing it from penetrating cells and infecting patients.”

Should the Trump administration receive credit for its medical advancements?

Moderna used mRNA technology to develop its COVID vaccine so quickly. According to Fortune, IAVI plans to work alongside the pharmaceutical company to use the same method for its HIV vaccine, which the nonprofit says could “significantly accelerate the pace of HIV vaccine development.”

HIV is not the only disease that researchers believe could benefit from mRNA technology. According to BioMed Central, “mRNA vaccines have become a promising platform for cancer immunotherapy.”

These medical advances resulted from the Trump administration’s persistence in helping develop a COVID vaccine even in the face of much opposition.

In May, NBC News published a “fact check” article claiming that Donald Trump would need a “miracle” to be correct that a vaccine could come by the end of 2020. Pfizer’s vaccine came in mid-December.

Even as the vaccine was being developed, Democrats decided to stoke fear regarding a vaccine rather than working alongside Republicans.

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Then-candidate Joe Biden suggested in September that Americans should not trust a vaccine created under the Trump administration.

“Let me be clear: I trust vaccines, I trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald Trump,” Biden said. “At this moment, the American people can’t either.”

Of course, Biden had no problem taking credit for the Trump administration’s advances once he himself came into office. He set goals for vaccine distribution that America was already on pace to meet under Trump, and then he acted as if he had reached some sort of major achievement.

Given this, it would not be surprising if Biden attempts to take credit for an HIV vaccine developed under his administration, despite the fact that the Trump administration actually laid some of the groundwork.

Biden claimed he did not want the pandemic or the vaccine to be politicized, yet he went out and did just that.

While we should be thankful for medical advancements no matter who the president is, it is important to realize that this particular advancement came from Trump’s administration, not Biden’s.

If mRNA technology leads to more vaccines for more diseases, Americans have the Trump administration to thank.

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Grant is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He has five years of writing experience with various outlets and enjoys covering politics and sports.
Grant is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a bachelor's degree in journalism. He has five years of writing experience with various outlets and enjoys covering politics and sports.