Israel may be crucial to Trump’s ‘Operation Warp Speed’ to fight Corona

Israel’s advances in the fight against the coronavirus may very well be incorporated into the U.S. effort.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

President Donald Trump revealed “Operation Warp Speed” at the White House on Friday, a large-scale initiative to find a vaccine to the coronavirus. Israel may have an important role to play.

Trump said it would be “a massive scientific industrial and logistical endeavor unlike anything our country has seen since the Manhattan Project,” likening it to America’s efforts in World War II to build the world’s first nuclear weapons.

Congress has directed $10 billion to the effort.

“President Trump’s vision for a vaccine by January 2021 will be one of the greatest scientific and humanitarian accomplishments in history,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. The project will focus on 14 of the most promising vaccine candidates, culled from a list of 100.

Although the 14 have not yet been identified, Israel’s advances in the fight against the coronavirus may very well be incorporated into the effort. The Israel Institute for Biological Research just received its patent for eight antibodies that target Covid-19, Israel Hayom reports on Sunday.

On May 5, the Institute announced it had developed a possible treatment against Covid-19 that uses antibodies and would be given in transfusions to patients in moderate condition where the virus has not yet caused massive damage to their body tissues.

Outgoing Defense Minister Naftali Bennett called it a “breakthrough.”

Political commentator Caroline Glick in a recent column speculates that this medical achievement might be the real reason behind Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s surprise visit to Israel last week, rather than the motives that have been highlighted, such as Israeli annexation, Iran and China.

“The first report of Pompeo’s sudden decision to visit Jerusalem this week came on May 6, the day after the Institute of Biological Research’s initial announcement and the day before Bennett and Rivlin visited the institute,” Glick writes.

“In his remarks at the Prime Minister’s Office with Netanyahu on Wednesday morning, Pompeo mentioned U.S.-Israeli cooperation in fighting the pandemic,” she notes.

“Turning to Netanyahu, he said, ‘Israeli technologies, Israeli medical expertise, all of the things that you and I and our teams can work on together. I know we’ll deliver good outcomes and decrease the risk for people all across the world from this global pandemic.'”