A vaccine, a vaccine, my kingdom for a vaccine!
I keep thinking of that variant of Richard the III's famous phrase because everywhere I go I hear people say what they would trade for a shot in the arm, not just for themselves but for the country.
That's why I am thrilled about Dr. David Kessler, the head of the FDA for both Democrat Bill Clinton and Republican George W. Bush, to become the chief science officer of Covid response, because we need someone who realizes the kingdom is at stake and he actually has a chance to do something about it.
But, like anyone coming in new, he needs all of our help. I am now going to give him my two cents, to make this thing work right because we know we are doing this thing pathetically and are doomed to failure.
First, we have to accept the fact that the decision to give the ball to the states was just idiotic beyond all reason. If you wanted to kill as many people as possible, you would hand this off to 50 different cash strapped governments that know nothing about public health and are in way over their heads.
I have said from the beginning that this vaccine must be administered by the military in every single high school pretty much around the clock between now and March when the New York Times projects that the faster spreading form of Covid will become the dominant strain in this country. This would involve the complete federalization of the distribution and a total scrapping of the boneheaded, disorganized way we are doing it now.
But if that's not possible I think we have another method that might work better than what's currently going on: the public private partnership that Honeywell's (HON) Darius Adamczyk talked about last night on Mad Money. Adamczyk, as fed up as the rest of us, couldn't watch the debacle unfold so he picked up the phone, called the management of the Carolina Panthers and said let's solve this thing. They brought in Atrium Health, a non-profit healthcare company that operates 42 hospitals and they intend to vaccinate 10,000 people a day in the Panthers' stadium.
This morning I talked to David Tepper, the owner of the Panthers, and asked him about why he got involved. He made it clear that the vaccine is the gamechanger. If you want some irony, last year, the day before the Super Bowl, I interviewed David Tepper and, way ahead of others, he said that the pandemic was the gamechanger - to the negative of course. He said he just wants to get as many shots in arms as quickly as possible and he can't wait around any more to do so. He was confident it could happen because he said nobody knows how to get people in and out as fast as possible than NFL owners and throughput - the ability to vaccinate many more people at once, is the answer. I get that. When I got the Moderna (MRNA) vaccine earlier this week, they jabbed about one person every 10 minutes. That's just a total of one person in about 10 minutes. That's hapless.
I think Dr. Kessler has to call the owners of ever sports team in this country and have them coordinate with Adamczyk and Tepper to work out a game plan to get the job done. When you match Honeywell's supply chain and logistics knowledge with Tepper's smooth organization, you know it's going to speed up the distribution with, yes, warp speed.
It's a sad day when I have to say this, but the federal government isn't big enough or solvent enough to do this right. The companies and the team owners have more breadth of knowledge, more scale and better balance sheets than the feds. When called upon they will all be competing with Darius and Dave to get the job done.
You know why this will work? Because all the business people I know are itching to roll up their sleeves and not just to be jabbed, They know that their entire enterprises depend on people getting immunized. They are willing Covid assassins.
So Dr. Kessler, make your first call to Darius, your second to Tepper. Enroll the private sector that has the capability of vaccinating en masse and save the kingdom.