Beneath a Covid Vaccine Debacle, 30 Years of Government Culpability

At first, it appeared that the agency had attracted two large pharmaceutical firms — Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline — but their involvement proved temporary. The companies already had contracts with the agency to work on vaccines for influenza pandemics. It was a distinct corner of biodefense that attracted major manufacturers because they could use much of the same technology and equipment for their seasonal flu shots.

In 2012, BARDA incorporated Novartis’s flu vaccine plant in North Carolina into the new program, and GlaxoSmithKline agreed to work as a subcontractor to another winning bidder, Texas A&M University.

Within a few years, however, both pharmaceutical firms bowed out. Novartis decided to get out of the flu vaccine business, and GlaxoSmithKline stopped participating in the program with Texas A&M. The university soldiered on, and in 2020, the government enlisted it to manufacture Novavax’s Covid-19 vaccine, which is not yet authorized for use in the United States.

But it was the third winning bidder that the government relied on most heavily when the coronavirus pandemic arrived: Emergent.

At a congressional hearing this May, the scene was eerily familiar, but this time the crisis was unparalleled in scale.

Mr. El-Hibri, facing irate questioning, declared Emergent’s manufacturing troubles “unacceptable” and pledged improvements — much as he had two decades earlier when called to answer for his company’s struggles making anthrax vaccines. Emergent was hardly flawless, he said, but it had taken on a difficult task when others had not.

“Everyone went into this with their eyes wide open,” Mr. El-Hibri testified, “that this is a facility that had never manufactured a licensed product before, that it’s a facility that, although not in perfect condition, far from it, was the facility that had the highest level of state of readiness.”

White House Says It Does Not Keep Visitor Logs at Biden’s Delaware Home

WASHINGTON — White House officials said on Monday that there are no visitor logs that keep track of who comes and goes from President Biden’s personal residence in Wilmington, Del., where six classified documents were discovered in recent days. A top House Republican demanded on Sunday that the White House turn over visitor logs for […]

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A Florida School Received a Threat. Did a Red Flag Law Prevent a Shooting?

The requests were granted. But the results of the search were not what the detective expected. Memories of Parkland Nationally, more than 20,000 petitions for extreme risk protection orders were filed from 1999 to 2021, according to data collected by Everytown for Gun Safety, an advocacy group. A vast majority of those petitions — more […]

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A Colossal Off-Year Election in Wisconsin

Lauren Justice for The New York Times Conservatives have controlled the court since 2008. Though the court upheld Wisconsin’s 2020 election results, last year it ruled drop boxes illegal, allowed a purge of the voter rolls to take place and installed redistricting maps drawn by Republican legislators despite the objections of Gov. Tony Evers, a […]

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