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Operation Warp Speed — A Military Intervention

I see three fatal flaws coming to the fore.

by Eric Holdeman / November 15, 2020

60 Minutes had a great segment on "Inside the Operation Warp Speed effort to get Americans a COVID-19 vaccine." This aired last week.

I liked the three-star general they have in charge of moving vaccines around the nation. He's got a plan (backwards planning by the way) that lays out the steps to get vaccines delivered and actually administered. 

There are some assumptions that he is making that will be trouble in the future. He anticipates having a well-honed "situational awareness" process in place. For those things he can control, I believe that will be true. Here's the rub...when the vaccine hits civilian hands, it all falls apart!!!

A quick story to explain. There was a troop movement to Germany back in the 1970s. A full brigade of soldiers from Fort Hood, Texas, moved via aircraft to Germany for an extended exercise. The landscape was brown in Texas so the helmet covers were all turned to be the brown side out. The brigade lands in Germany and the landscape is lush green. The brigade commander gives the order that on the next day, everyone will have their helmet liners "green side out." Sure enough, the chain of command works and everywhere, every soldier has the right cover color on display. That is what is called "command and control." I say, you do, when I say do. 

The general in the 60 Minute program states that he will know when the vaccine arrives at the medical center that will do the vaccinations. I believe him. Then he said, "I'll know when the vaccines are administered... ." Ah, not so fast general — these medical types don't jump when you say "jump." Situational awareness at this point will become "murky" at best. Anyone who has worked with hospitals in your metropolitan area over the coronavirus emergency knows that getting them to report timely information can be a challenge...for one relatively small geographical area.

Then we catch the IT guy briefing the general on the "totally new" software program that will be used to track everything and the briefer is saying, "This has never been done before.''  "Danger Will Robinson, Danger Will Robinson!" Multiple words were used that sent a shiver down my back, "software, new, never been done before." There will be bumps on the road ahead, if not total craters!

Lastly, not under the control of the military is the willingness of people to take the vaccine. It was shared that in one survey, 60 percent of doctors said they would take the vaccine. Only 40 percent of nurses said they would. This is with medical professionals!  

I'm reminded of my granddaughter, Sydney. It took three people to hold her down the last time she got a flu shot. She was yelling "I'm not ready, I'm not ready!" Trouble, trouble, trouble ahead. 

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