As the U.S. edges closer to two-hundred thousand (200k) COVID-19 deaths, the November 2020 US Election rapidly approaches. President Donald Trump initiated a program back in May called Operation Warp Speed. The operation is a public-private partnership between pharmaceutical companies and the federal government to develop and manufacture a free coronavirus vaccine.
Trump has claimed a vaccine will be approved by Election Day. However, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have said that a vaccine most likely won’t be available until next year.
At the earliest, it could be April 2021 when a COVID-19 vaccine might be readily available to American citizens.
With so much uncertainty surrounding a potential vaccine, let’s analyze some of the politics and breakdown the odds.
What is Operation Warp Speed?
According to the Department of Defense, Operation Warp Speed “is a partnership between the DOD and HHS” to help facilitate the process of developing, manufacturing, and administering a publicly available COVID-19 vaccine.
In addition to the CDC, this also includes the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).
Large Pharmaceutical Companies Help With Vaccine
The top three pharmaceutical companies in late-stage vaccine trials include Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Moderna.
This conglomeration between the federal government and some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies will probably do more to fuel conspiracy theories, in the short term, than it will to reduce COVD-19 infection rates. Who came up with the name “Warp Speed” anyway?
Discrepancy Between Trump And CDC Approval Date
To this end, there have also been myriad discrepancies between Trump’s public statements and those from the HHS and CDC on the potential availability of a COVID-19 vaccine. This has perhaps only added to public skepticism about a vaccine that’s being rushed to market for Election Day for political reasons.
What do the oddsmakers have to say about the likeliness of a coronavirus vaccine being approved by Nov. 3?
Odds Breakdown For COVID-19 Vaccine Approval Before Nov. 3
The betting odds of a COVID-19 vaccine being approved before November 3 are highly unlikely. MyBookie.ag is giving -800 odds to say that: No, a COVID-19 vaccine will NOT be approved by Election Day 2020.
Still, there are currently +350 odds for: Yes, there WILL BE a vaccine approved by then.
|Will the COVID-19 Vaccine Be Approved Before Nov. 3rd|
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Maybe these odds aren’t too far-fetched.
The obvious bet here is that there’s just no way in hell the U.S. federal government and it’s creepily-named operation will succeed in approving a vaccine in time for a presidential election. However, it’s been reported that Pfizer, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, could potentially have a vaccine approved by the end of the year.
Pfizer could apply for “emergency authorization” by October, according to the New York Times. And Yahoo reported that an “efficacy signal could happen any day.” (An efficacy signal would be a green light for vaccine approval.)
These reports, like Trump’s statements, contradict those of high-ranking officials at the HHS and CDC, who spoke at a Senate panel this week.
What to Do When a ‘No’ Bet Is So Heavily Favored?
Political uncertainty surrounding the approval of a COVID-19 vaccine by Nov. 3 seems to be endless. The head of the CDC, Robert Redfield, told a Senate panel this week that Americans could expect to get back to their “regular” lives by the second half of 2021.
Those sentiments are precisely what Trump despises about government and science. Facts and accountability. Thus it’s not too hyperbolic to say that his re-election campaign is now heavily focused on the approval of a coronavirus vaccine—to possibly help save the political fallout from his disastrous response to the pandemic.
Odds Could Change In October
So it’s plausible that these odds may change somewhat by the end of October. The ‘Yes’ bet at +350 is a decent price for the moment. And I don’t see any other worthwhile bet here.
After all, Trump (-105) is now trailing Joe Biden (-115) to win the U.S. Election. Trump’s going to do whatever it takes rhetorically and behind the scenes, politically, to get a vaccine approved by Nov 3.
I wouldn’t wager anything more than what you could afford to lose.
Something around $290 could win you a cool grand. That’s the only payoff with this wager.
Why Trump Needs The Vaccine
You might just want to wait for the debates. The first one is less than two weeks away.
I’m sure these odds will change once Trump gets a chance to wag his tongue at Biden on a public stage. Biden’s campaign will be centered around hammering away at Trump on his coronavirus response.
So, Trump desperately needs a COVID-19 vaccine approval. Maybe just as bad as the American public.
His 2020 re-election campaign might be counting on it, these next few weeks.