“This is a tragedy that did not have to happen” was Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo’s plaintiff cry at the end of a recent broadcast. I echo his sentiment, not only for the delayed and ineffective action of our federal government which Cuomo decried, but from a lifetime of experience in fighting disease. I know what is possible and am sad to say I have an intimate acquaintance of the decade and a half or our collective failures.

Anti-coronavirus drugs and vaccines could have stopped Covid-19 dead in its tracks well before it spread beyond Wuhan, but those drugs and vaccines still lie many months in our future. This is a story of my colleagues and friends who developed the medical war chest we so badly need now, only to be stopped dead, halfway through their pioneering work, due to a lack of interest and funding. 

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Originally published on Forbes (April 6, 2020)