Inside the Operation Warp Speed effort to get Americans a COVID-19 vaccine

David Martin reports on the military efforts underway to inoculate 300 million Americans with an anticipated COVID-19 vaccine.

While the rest of the country has been counting votes, an Army general named Gus Perna has been counting doses of vaccine. He is in charge of Operation Warp Speed, the catchy title given to the crash program to inoculate 300 million Americans against the coronavirus by next spring.

For those of you longing to reclaim a semblance of your previous life, it may not seem all that speedy, but it is compared to the five to ten years it usually takes to field a new vaccine. Once approved, it will not be a silver bullet. Just as with the annual flu shot, some of us will still get sick. But it should make enough people immune so that the virus runs out of places to go. That would give this country what it badly needs right now – a shot in the arm.

David Martin: So if this distribution of vaccine is– doesn’t go according to plan, where does the buck stop?

General Gus Perna: Me. Conversation’s over. It’s pretty easy, me. I hold myself 100% personally accountable to that end. 

After a career as an Army supply officer, General Gus Perna was two months away from retirement when President Trump tapped him last May to lead Operation Warp Speed.

60 Minutes went into his operations center where the plan to get the vaccine out to 300 million Americans is being orchestrated by military specialists brought in from across the country.

Source: CBS News