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Virus Research and Publication by Press Release

News releases do not equate to eventual success.

by Eric Holdeman / May 21, 2020

Just about every day we are hearing about some "breakthrough" in the development of a coronavirus vaccine. Mice, monkeys, people -- all of them showing promising results in the production of antibodies.

One such story was Moderna’s claim of favorable results in its vaccine trial is an example of ‘publication by press release.’ One of the results of their announcement was that billions of dollars of value were added to their stock price. The stock market shot up and everyone felt good -- for a day. 

I'll go back to the old saying, "You can have it good, fast or cheap. But you only get two." My concern that all this push for speed might lead to a result that is rated fast but "not so good." 

The administration has announced the vaccine program as one progressing at "warp speed." If you are wondering how fast that is, it is 670,616,629.384 MPH. Basically the speed of light. While it is not good to publish scientific results in the form of press releases, it is also not good to just develop catchy phrases for programs. 

Anyone who has worked on projects of any kind know that success mostly comes disguised as hard work. Trial and error. Late nights and early mornings. Meetings, meetings, and more meetings. Oftentimes, there are more failures that successes. 

I will summarize by saying, the worst thing to do is get to a poor outcome at warp speed. It does no good to get somewhere fast when you don't know where you are going. 

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