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President Trump’s approach to the coronavirus pandemic has been rooted from the start in grand goals and grander ambitions, all to be achieved with record speed.

His administration’s funding of COVID-19 vaccines is dubbed “Operation Warp Speed.” As recently as Sunday, he promoted research into convalescent plasma — blood fluid taken from patients who have recovered from the virus — as “years ahead of approvals.”

He added, “If we went by the speed levels of past administration, (sic) we’d be two years, three years behind where we are today, and that includes in vaccines that you’ll be hearing about very soon, very shortly.”

In human biology often as you proceed with your research, as you think you’re getting closer and closer to the finish line, you begin to discover it’s more and more distant. You become increasingly aware of the complexity you’re dealing with.”

LEIGH TURNER, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA

Remarks like that “sends chills down everybody’s spines,” says Gregg Gonsalves, an expert on epidemiology at Yale medical school and Yale law school. 

That’s because Trump’s rolling out a vaccine without... see more