WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced on Tuesday that it has awarded nearly $1.4 billion for the development of new COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics. This despite the fact that President Joe Biden declared the so-called pandemic over nearly a year ago.
The investments are part of the $5 billion Project NextGen, an initiative led by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) in partnership with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
BARDA falls under the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and has played a major role during the COVID-19 response. Since its inception, BARDA has doled out a total of $47.5 billion in research and development spending.
“As the virus continues to evolve, we need new tools that keep pace with those changes,” said ASPR chief Dawn O’Connell. “Project NextGen combines the research and development expertise at HHS with the lessons we have learned about the virus throughout the pandemic – strengthening our preparedness for whatever comes next.”
The funding includes the following programs:
- $1 billion to four BARDA Clinical Trial partners to support vaccine Phase IIb clinical trial studies: ICON Government and Public Health Solutions, Inc of Hinckley, Ohio; Pharm-Olam, LLC, of Houston, Texas; Technical Resources Intl (TRI), Inc, of Bethesda, Maryland; and Rho Federal Systems, Inc., Durham, North Carolina.
- $326 million to Regeneron to support the development of a next-generation monoclonal antibody for COVID-19 prevention.
- $100 million to Global Health Investment Corp. (GHIC), the non-profit organization managing the BARDA Ventures investment portfolio to expand investments in new technologies that will accelerate responses in the future.
- $10 million to Johnson & Johnson Innovation (JLABS) for a competition through Blue Knight, a BARDA-JLABS partnership.
Despite the federal government’s voracious appetite for spending billions of taxpayer dollars on substances they hope to inject into American bodies, it may be a tall order to convince citizens this time around. Only 17 percent of Americans elected to take the COVID booster shot, according to CDC data.
High-profile personalities such as presidential candidates Ron DeSantis and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaking out about the potential dangers of the mRNA injections has likely impacted the population’s attitude to government-mandated medical interventions – and so have reports of lethal side effects.
Over the past few weeks, mainstream media has once again started to disseminate fear narratives of increasing COVID-19 “cases” – and there are reports of colleges, hospitals and corporations re-introducing authoritarian measures such as masking and mandatory testing. In Los Angeles, film production company Lionsgate now requires their employees to wear masks in the office, The Guardian reports.
On social media, speculations abound that the Biden administration is planning to implement a new round of draconian COVID measures such as lockdowns and masking. However, The Florida Standard has not been able to independently confirm that such a coordinated effort is being planned.