Six Essential Questions for Trump’s ‘Warp Speed’ Vaccine Program

Statement of Peter Maybarduk, Director, Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines Program

Note: President Donald Trump today announced “Operation Warp Speed,” intended to accelerate the development of a vaccine for the novel coronavirus.

There’s a lot we don’t know about President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed. Here are a few essential questions:

  • Taxpayers already have invested billions in the search for effective vaccines and will invest billions more. Will vaccines developed with contributions from Warp Speed and federal government efforts be reasonably priced to insurers or free to the public?
  • Will the federal government publish its coronavirus vaccine-related contracts, so that the public can assess how our interests in access, safety and fair pricing will be protected?
  • Will the government require corporations and research entities to publish their vaccine-related research data, so that independent experts can analyze the safety and efficacy profiles of candidate vaccines?
  • No single corporation has vaccine manufacturing capacity to supply the world. Will the U.S. government require that corporations transfer technology and disclose know-how so that manufacturing can be brought to scale more quickly?
  • What is the Trump administration’s plan to prevent hoarding and to allocate vaccines according to health need?
  • What is the Trump administration’s plan to meet global need and, in turn, ensure that people in the U.S. have access to any successful vaccines developed in other countries?