The world is moving forward on an unprecedented vaccination rollout. In the United States, a record was reached in immunizing more than 4.5 million citizens in a single day. Many people are celebrating the Democratic administration’s efforts to reach 70% of the entire population vaccinated. However, very few media mention that this immunization campaign was the result of the efforts of former President Donald Trump, together with private enterprise, to obtain a Covid-19 vaccine in a short period of time.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the Republican had already met with businesspeople for the development of the Covid-19 vaccine, and on May 15 he announced the official start of Operation Warp Speed, which was a public-private partnership initiated by the Federal Government to facilitate and accelerate the development, manufacture, and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.
“We are very confident that we will have a vaccine by the end of this year,” Donald Trump said at the time.
This achievement would not have been possible without the partnership between his government and private enterprise. In fact, experts said that the soonest we could have a Covid-19 vaccine would be in 18 months, but it was achieved in 8 months. In this way, the importance of private enterprise for society and its progress was demonstrated.
Throughout the history of mankind, capitalism has contributed to a better quality of life for citizens and this has translated into better health conditions. The development of medicines thanks to private investment has made it possible to eradicate diseases, and the last year has demonstrated the need for private efforts to continue to contribute to medicine and society.
The Swedish writer Johan Norberg, in his text In Defense of Global Capitalism (2001), highlighted some advances in the planet thanks to the contribution of this economic system. Among them, he pointed out that between 1965 and 1998, the average citizen’s income doubled from 2,497 to 4,839 dollars. He also indicated that the material development of the last century has freed more than 3 billion human beings from poverty.
By 2018 only 10% of human beings, according to the World Bank (WB), lived in extreme poverty. And, similarly, in 1820 at least 85 % of the population survived on less than the equivalent of 1 dollar per day (with inflationary adjustment); by 1980 that percentage stood at 31 %.
Capitalism and Covid-19 vaccines
In past centuries, human beings did not have the conditions of well-being that we have today. Today, citizens have a better quality of life, and this is thanks to the fact that individual development has been allowed and with it the impulse of private companies that have given way to innovation. While political systems such as socialism only propose to take wealth from others, capitalism is the only system that deals with the generation of wealth.
If we bring it to the present day, private enterprise, capitalism and the defenders of the ideas of freedom, stimulated private enterprise for scientific innovation that now allows us to visualize a return to normalcy. Socialism waited for these efforts to produce results before claiming credit for the achievement and calling for equity in the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, but none of these collectivists contributed ideas or resources to find a solution.
The pandemic brought with it great economic and health devastation. But it also demonstrated once again that, even in our times when it seems that everything has already been created, capitalism and freedom are necessary to succeed.
So it is worth remembering that it was the impetus of former President Donald Trump and capitalism that allowed us to see a clearer horizon in the midst of a unique global crisis.