Winning the War by Finding the Cure

Deterring harm starts with assembling arms. The transformation of labor, the division of labor, the labor necessary to arm military divisions—from the assembly line do these things flow. From film reels do images of these things continue to flow, inspiring us by the power of motion itself. Were the images to fade to black, the world would still remember what men and women did there, in Detroit and Chicago and Seattle and St. Louis; in the cities and factories of our arsenal of democracy.

To preserve the images we must protect the industries vital to saving the lives—and livelihoods—of our fellow citizens. To do otherwise is to outsource our safety by outlawing common sense. To face the issue is to project the right image, in response to a simple question: Do American companies have the right to hire American contractors to develop a vaccine for COVID-19?

The question constitutes a test case for Inovio Pharmaceuticals, as the company seeks a contract manufacturing organization (CMO) with the capacity to produce a potential vaccine.

The case would not exist but for a South Korean CMO’s attempt to stop Inovio from insourcing the production of a vaccine. Never mind that the attempt denies relief by delaying it—by blocking it altogether, in fact. Never mind that the attempt is unjust. Never mind that the attempt is an injustice to the sick, the old, the vulnerable, and the poor.

What President Trump calls “our big war” is a medical war. The war dead now outnumber our casualties in the Great War. The war dead are three times greater than our casualties in the Korean War. The war dead are unlike all other casualties because we cannot gather to mourn their deaths.

We cannot gather in large numbers, not without contracting or spreading COVID-19. We cannot do much of anything, not without slowing Operation Warp Speed, the White House’s program to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.

If a company can violate the Constitution by perverting the preamble to the Constitution, if in the course of human events, it becomes unnecessarily difficult to establish justice and insure domestic tranquility, if a company is responsible for these events, we have a duty to declare our independence from that company—a foreign company—whose actions threaten our ability to wage war.

Thus do Americans enjoy the might of righteousness.

Thus does Inovio, an American company, have the right to rally Americans to win the war.

About Bill Asher

Bill Asher is a writer and retired executive. He lives with his family in Massachusetts.

Photo: Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images

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