The Department of Health and Human Services will invest $3.2 billion to develop and manufacture COVID-19 antiviral medicines, it announced Thursday.
The initiative, funded as part of the American Rescue Plan, is designed to accelerate research into antivirals as well as build platforms for urgent response to future viral threats, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said in a statement Thursday. Specifically, the plan expands antiviral clinical trials, forms partnerships between health agencies and pharmaceutical companies, and funds “drug discovery groups” tasked with innovating new antiviral medicines.
“New antivirals that prevent serious COVID-19 illness and death, especially oral drugs that could be taken at home early in the course of disease, would be powerful tools for battling the pandemic and saving lives,” said chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci in the statement.
As the world slowly begins to emerge from the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic and American elites develop an interest in the formerly dismissed Wuhan lab leak theory, it is time to focus attention where it belongs: punishing a rogue Chinese Communist Party for what it has inflicted upon an unsuspecting world.
To many of us, it was obvious from the outset that COVID-19 was a “Chinese Chernobyl.” Regardless of whether the virus has as its provenance a zoonotic transmission at a wet market or an “escape” from the Wuhan Institute of Virology—to say nothing of the low, but still non-negligible, possibility that it was intentionally developed and weaponized as a bioweapon—the CCP’s gross negligence, recklessness and, indeed, malice all contributed to an initially localized virus metastasizing into a crippling global phenomenon.
The story is, by now, a familiar one: The CCP responded to the initial outbreak in Wuhan by arresting and muzzling scientists, suppressing journalistic investigation, and actively disseminating disinformation to the World Health Organization and other transnational institutions. As a study from Britain’s University of Southampton concluded well over a year ago, proper Chinese government intervention at the virus’ onset might have reduced its ultimate spread by as much as 95 percent.
The Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines are highly effective against and prevent illness from common variants of the virus, according to recently released studies.
The vaccine made by Pfizer is effective against the coronavirus variants that originated from the U.K. and South Africa, according to multiple studies released Wednesday that examined real-world vaccinations, The New York Times reported. Moderna reported that an early-stage trial suggested its vaccine is effective against the South African variant and a third variant originating from Brazil when given as a single-dose booster shot.
“At this point in time, we can confidently say that we can use this vaccine, even in the presence of circulating variants of concern,” London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine infectious disease researcher Annelies Wilder-Smith told the NYT.
In an appearance of CNN’s State of the Union Sunday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine appeared to “mask-shame” President Trump, saying that the Chief executive’s diagnosis of the potentially deadly disease serves as a “cautionary tale” for people who are reluctant to wear masks.
DeWine, a fairly frequent guest on the news program told host Jake Tapper that “this should be kind of an alert to everybody that anybody can get the virus, even president of the United States can get the virus.”