…economist Garett Jones recently opined that Trump’s scuttled hopes to release a COVID-19 vaccine a few weeks earlier “likely would have saved at least 100,000 American lives.”
…Pfizer did not reveal its trial’s favorable results until November 9—six days after the election. The company had originally planned to consider submitting an EUA request to the FDA with just 32 data points; instead it gathered 94, and it waited another 11 days to accrue the requested safety data, plus even more data showing how well the vaccine worked, before making its filing.
…If a compassionate use program for COVID-19 vaccines had gone forward, doctors would have been able to prescribe them to nursing-home residents, even as the vaccine makers completed their clinical trials with integrity and gathered all the safety data requested under the “EUA Plus” requirements.
According to Marks, Birx asked Anthony Fauci and FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn to encourage Pfizer and Moderna to apply for that program…
The actual timing of the COVID-19 vaccines’ release resulted from a complicated mix of bureaucratic caution, political calculations, and the choices made by vaccine manufacturers. While the benefits of the vaccines have become very clear since then, the precise human cost of that short delay remains a mystery.
Here is the full Brendan Borrell piece in The Atlantic, excellent throughout. And don’t forget Brendan’s new and exciting book The First Shots: The Epic Rivalries and Heroic Science Behind the Race to the Coronavirus Vaccine.
Via Rich Dewey.