And now, an update on the state of play of the Trump-Virus:
“With concerns growing about the politicization of the FDA amid a botched White House rollout of the agency’s emergency authorization of convalescent plasma and sharply criticized comments by FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, some scientists and bioethicists are demanding the agency forgo use of its emergency authority for a vaccine. They worry its very flexibility, which gives FDA officials broad latitude, could make it easier for the White House to pressure the agency into clearing an unproven vaccine before Election Day, Nov. 3.”
The latest preview of Prznint Stupid’s October Surprise, the CDC notified health officials in all 50 states to be ready to distribute a vaccine to health-care workers and other high risk groups by early November.
In a strange coinky-dink, the notification was sent out the same day as Stupid’s RNC address, you know, when he said that a vaccine could be in circulation by the end of the year. Subtle, ain’t he?
The only thing that Prznint Stupid cares about is his re-election, so if an untested vaccine is the October surprise, don’t be surprised. But what if, oh, let’s say China gets to a vaccine first, what then? The 4th Reich has already said that the U.S. will not participate in an international coalition to find and distribute a coronavirus vaccine, because Prznint Stupid has left the WHO to blame China for… his own failures. You try diagramming his motivations, you’ll go insane(r).
Our Pals at Electoral Vote game out some scenarios:
Health and national security officials are already thinking about multiple nightmare scenarios:
Scenario 1: China simply refuses to sell any vaccine to the U.S. under any conditions. Instead, it first immunizes its own population. Then it begins giving it away to countries in Latin America and Africa for free in return for the rights to extract natural resources. How will this play in the U.S.?
Scenario 2: China is willing to sell the U.S. 100 million doses for $10,000 per dose for a total bill of $1 trillion. Congress might balk at the money and Trump would then have to ration the vaccine. Maybe he could say that only people willing to sign a pledge to vote for him get the shot. In any case, there would be huge fights over the scarce doses, and that would rip the country apart. China would laugh all the way to the bank.
Scenario 3: China is willing to sell the U.S. 300 million doses at $100 per dose for total bill of only $30 billion. That would sail through Congress easily. However, there could be a couple of geopolitical strings attached. Part of the deal would be for the U.S. to agree to one or more of these (or similar) conditions:
- The Senate must approve a binding treaty banning all current and future U.S. tariffs on imports from China
- China gets to invade and conquer Taiwan by force and the U.S. agrees not to help Taiwan
- China gets to build military bases on the disputed islands in the South China Sea without U.S. interference
- Study of Mandarin Chinese becomes mandatory in U.S. high schools
By the time the number of deaths from COVID-19 passes a million, the pressure to give in to China will become unbearable. Or if China really wants to throw its weight around, imagine it announcing (before the election) that as long as Donald Trump is president, the U.S. will not get any vaccine, but if Joe Biden becomes president, it is willing to make a normal commercial deal and sell 300 million doses at $20 each. How might that affect Trump and the voters?
While we are on the subject of vaccines, there is a very real possibility that even if the federal government pays for the purchase of the vaccine, doctors, pharmacies, clinics, and other health-care providers could charge an “administrative fee” that could keep people without health insurance from getting it. That, in turn, would keep the pandemic going even after a vaccine was available from China or some other source.
So we got all that working for us. Cool, cool.