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Vaccine rollout is a mess today, but wasn't during the pandemic.
“Gen. Perna is no longer in charge” -- STAT News
This is due to a massive shift: vaccines are now commercialized. In other words, the government is no longer responsible for purchasing or distributing Covid-19 vaccines.
More specifically, one person is no longer in charge: General Gus Perna— a four-star general and Chief Operations Officer of Operation Warp Speed.
Many, including me, underappreciated the gargantuan task of promptly, equitably, and smoothly getting Covid-19 vaccines to 330 million people, especially during an emergency. We just arrived at a clinic, and Covid-19 vaccines were magically there.
I attended a summit last week where General Perna shared his story of tackling this massive challenge. It was fantastic—apolitical, funny, honest, inspiring, sober. I bugged and begged the sponsor—Palantir—to get ahold of the recording for you. And I was successful! (Thanks Palantir.)
Watch it. Listen to it. You won’t be disappointed. It gave me a whole new appreciation for this effort, especially right now when it’s hard to find a vaccine. It shows the power of public-private partnerships. And, if anything, it shows how many people were working behind the scenes during the emergency, ultimately saving 3.2 million lives.
“Your Local Epidemiologist (YLE)” is written by Dr. Katelyn Jetelina, M.P.H. Ph.D.—an epidemiologist, wife, and mom of two little girls. During the day, she is a senior scientific consultant to several organizations. At night, she writes this newsletter. Her main goal is to “translate” the ever-evolving public health world so that people will be well-equipped to make evidence-based decisions. This newsletter is free, thanks to the generous support of fellow YLE community members. To support this effort, subscribe below: