President Donald Trump is banking on Operation Warp Speed to develop a COVID-19 vaccine as part of an October Surprise to help his poll numbers. 

Led by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Operation Warp Speed hopes to find a vaccine by October 2020.

Though developing vaccines typically takes a decade, HHS thinks that by throwing billions of dollars into research and logistics it can greatly expedite the production timeline.

The president has repeatedly touted Warp Speed’s breakthroughs, promising hundreds of millions of doses before the end of the year. 

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Trump has assured Americans that a “tremendous” vaccine is “very close” and will be ready “very, very early.” 

Trump said, “I’m optimistic that it’ll be probably around that date. I believe we’ll have the vaccine before the end of the year certainly, but around that date, yes. I think so.” 

In response, the president acknowledged that he has been polling low and that a successful vaccine before then would likely boost his chances of winning, “It wouldn’t hurt. It wouldn’t hurt. But … I’m doing it, not for the election,” he said last week. “I want it fast because I want to save a lot of lives.” 

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