Biden Team Held Covid-19 Talks with Operation Warp Speed Drugmakers Before Election
In this file photo, Joe Biden gestures after speaking at a rally in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (AFP)
US President-elect Joe Biden’s healthcare advisers have held talks with drugmaker executives on the US government’s Operation Warp Speed program to accelerate development of a possible COVID-19 treatment, a Biden spokesman said on Sunday.
Under the Trump administration, Operation Warp Speed has struck deals with several drugmakers in an effort to help speed up the search for effective treatments for the disease amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
“As we previously said in September, because President-Elect Joe Biden is absolutely committed to helping develop a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine as soon as possible, campaign medical advisers have received briefings from companies working to produce vaccines in order to be informed about the process,” Biden’s spokesman Andrew Bates said in an emailed statement.
Biden has vowed to “listen to the science”, with his coronavirus plan calling for scaling up testing and contact tracing and promising to appoint a “supply commander” to oversee supply lines of critical equipment.
Late in October, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the United States is likely to have enough safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines available to inoculate the most vulnerable Americans by the end of 2020.
In their talks, Biden’s advisers indicated to drug company officials that his administration would not be interested in making changes to Warp Speed that would disrupt work in getting new drugs and vaccines to market, Bloomberg reported, adding his administration will want to assist the companies’ efforts when Biden assumes office.