Viewpoint: US faces policy nightmare if China wins race to produce a safe, effective COVID vaccine

china pandemic world health who wide b ad c d f e bbda cf
President Trump and China's President Xi Jinping, shown in 2019, have faced criticism for their handling of the coronavirus. Both are now pushing hard for a vaccine. The United States has already agreed to pay a drug company more than $1 billion to produce a vaccine that's yet to be approved. Xi says if China succeeds in developing a vaccine, it will be declared "a global public good."

It’s very possible a Chinese [COVID-19] vaccine could be the first to succeed in Phase III trials. If Warp Speed contenders fail, the U.S. could be perhaps six to eight months behind in developing one. What happens then?

Health and national security experts envision, in that case, the future unfolding like a kind of “choose your own nightmare” narrative, each potential pathway leading to geopolitical quagmires and thorny scientific traps. What if China refuses to give a safe vaccine to the United States, instead using it as a bargaining chip to combat U.S. power? What if the Trump administration, or a Biden administration, refuses to accept it? What if a Chinese “victory” pressures the U.S. or Europe to cut corners in their vaccine development or approval process—a worry only increased by President Donald Trump’s recent comments drawing the Food and Drug Administration into his political fights?

Related article:  Is the FDA facing political pressure to rush through approval of untested COVID-19 vaccines to fit Trump's political schedule?
Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

A vaccine that works will be “the most important human resource in modern history,” says Larry Gostin, professor of Global Health Law at Georgetown University… “It’s very possible that China’s not going to sell [a vaccine] to the highest bidder,” he says. “They’ll use it for political influence or political payback or part of the trade negotiations with the United States. … It’s very possible the United States could be at the end of the line.”

Read the original post

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
ft covidresponseus feature

Video: Viewpoint: The US wrote the global playbook on the coronavirus and then ignored it

A year ago, the United States was regarded as the country best prepared for a pandemic. Our government had spent ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend