Before Operation Warp Speed (OWS)—a partnership between the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Defense (DOD)—to speed up development, getting a new vaccine from concept to approval could take ten years and billions of dollars.

“I do think the urgency for Operation Warp Speed was heightened by the fact that we were in the middle of an election year,” said Daniel Carpenter, a political scientist at Harvard University. “On the whole, it was a good thing — it led a potentially anti-science, anti-vaccine administration to push harder for a vaccine. What we will end up seeing in the long run is this is an unparalleled private and public sector mobilization that happened.”

The clinical research process can be tremendously slow. Researchers have to study the structure and infectious behavior of a pathogen and how to get the human body to produce an immune response best to fight against it; this alone can take years to do. That’s not all, the vaccine gets tested for safety on cells, animals, and later in human clinical trials. After testing is when the federal approval process can finally begin.

To speed the COVID-19 vaccine process up times ten, the government rallied up nearly $10 billion in federal funds. This sped up the vaccine development timeline through clinical trials, FDA review, and mass distribution. Between financing, advanced technology, and awareness, healthcare organizations were able to start giving the vaccine to patients just a couple of days after the final approval. The FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine on December 10th, and healthcare workers could get vaccinated by December 14th.

“Really, most of the vaccine platform development work is already done,” said Habibul Ahsan, Director of the Institute for Population and Precision Health at the University of Chicago Medicine. “You just have to do the remaining part, which is adding the right viral antigens to the already-proven platform and making sure it’s safe and effective in humans. Even in just the last five to 10 years, we’ve made big leaps in developing new kinds of vaccine platforms like those being tested for SARS-CoV-2.”

When it was all said and done, Trump, the one who refused to wear a mask, tooted his own horn. “People that aren’t necessarily big fans of Donald Trump are saying, ‘Whether you like him or not, this is one of the greatest miracles in the history of modern-day medicine’ or any other medicine — any other age of medicine,” Trump said.

It’s still unclear how Trump’s decision has affected the economy, mainly if it’s resulted in less money for health care providers.