Inside Operation Warp Speed

Operation Warp Speed has in some ways lived up to its name: The U.S. government has awarded almost $11 billion to seven different companies to develop vaccines, three of which — Moderna, AstraZeneca and Pfizer — are in late-stage trials.

Things are going according to the most aggressive schedule.

However, accelerating the development process has increased the likelihood of cronyism and undue political influence.

Today, we ask whether the White House’s defiance of the timelines that have long governed the development of vaccines is working.

Guest: Katie Thomas, a reporter at The New York Times who covers the health care sector, with a focus on the drug industry.

For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily 

Background reading: 

  • There is a lot of optimism surrounding the coronavirus vaccine and its potential to usher in a return to normality in the near future — but doctors warn that those expectations ought to be tempered.
  • With thousands dying, economic tumult and a looming election, the U.S. government is eager to start vaccinating as soon as possible. Experts worry that the Trump administration will push the Food and Drug Administration to overlook insufficient data.
  • The vaccine effort has spelled big profits for corporate insiders.
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