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An even greater achievement

Summary:
Tyler Cowen recently linked to this tweet: Topol describes this as a great achievement, and he’s right. (My wife used to work in vaccine development, so I’m well aware of how long this usually takes.) At the same time, I can’t help thinking that the following would have been an even greater achievement, one that would have saved the lives of 100,000 Americans and also prevented many small business bankruptcies. (Yes, Trump would have been re-elected, but that’s a price worth paying): Mar 16: Moderna phase 1/2/3 challenge trial begins. May 2: Pfizer/BioNtech phase 1/2/3 challenge trial begins. July 14: Moderna phase 1/2/3 published in NEJM. July 31: FDA approves Moderna vaccine. August 12: Pfizer/BioNtech phase 1/2/3 published in Nature. August

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Tyler Cowen recently linked to this tweet:

An even greater achievement

Topol describes this as a great achievement, and he’s right. (My wife used to work in vaccine development, so I’m well aware of how long this usually takes.) At the same time, I can’t help thinking that the following would have been an even greater achievement, one that would have saved the lives of 100,000 Americans and also prevented many small business bankruptcies. (Yes, Trump would have been re-elected, but that’s a price worth paying):

Mar 16: Moderna phase 1/2/3 challenge trial begins.

May 2: Pfizer/BioNtech phase 1/2/3 challenge trial begins.

July 14: Moderna phase 1/2/3 published in NEJM.

July 31: FDA approves Moderna vaccine.

August 12: Pfizer/BioNtech phase 1/2/3 published in Nature.

August 31: FDA approves Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine.

PS. Tyler also linked to an article on the developer of Novavax’s promising new vaccine candidate, created by a team led by Nita Patel:

Patel has come a long way from her beginnings in Sojitra, a farming village in India’s Gujarat state. There, when she was 4 years old, her family fell into poverty after her father nearly died from tuberculosis (TB). He never worked again and told Patel she should become a doctor and find a cure.

Patel set about doing that, wearing the same ragged dress to school day after day. She had no shoes. She begged bus fare from a neighbor—at whose house she also devoured the newspaper because her family couldn’t afford a subscription.

Her academic excellence propelled her through college on government scholarships. She later picked up two master’s degrees, in India and the United States, in applied microbiology and biotechnology. 

Moderna’s Pfizer’s vaccine was developed by the children of Muslim immigrants to Germany, and this one by an immigrant from a “shithole country”. Funny how things work out.


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Scott Sumner
Scott B. Sumner is Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, the Director of the Program on Monetary Policy at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and an economist who teaches at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. His economics blog, The Money Illusion, popularized the idea of nominal GDP targeting, which says that the Fed should target nominal GDP—i.e., real GDP growth plus the rate of inflation—to better "induce the correct level of business investment".

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