As COVID-19’s grip on the nation’s consciousness has loosened, some might think the worst is over. However, while vacationing in Lake Tahoe, California, Joe Biden made a contrary announcement. He’ll be asking Congress for more funding to develop a new vaccine. “It will likely be recommended that everybody get it no matter whether they’ve gotten it before or not,” Biden said.
Given the slight uptick in cases and the resurgence of mask mandates at institutions like Morris Brown College and Lionsgate film studio, some will argue the announcement is timely. But what’s the actual cost?
Confirmed that Biden just signed off on more funding to create a new COVID vaccine because "muh variants", and that it will be recommended that everyone get it.
This is never going to end. pic.twitter.com/WklCmIOFBC
— Inversionism (@Inversionism) August 25, 2023
The Biden administration aims to make updated vaccines available by the end of September. Pfizer and Moderna are working on these updated shots, explicitly targeting the omicron variant. As taxpayers, it’s essential to recognize that the money for this effort is coming from more deficit spending and inflationary pressure that Americans will pay for.
The White House had recently requested $40 billion from Congress for various purposes, including more than $24 billion for Ukraine and $4 billion for border issues. Yet this budget request conspicuously left out additional funding for COVID vaccines. Now, suddenly, there’s a need for more money directed toward vaccine development.
Is this about public health or another payday for Big Pharma? Biden’s proposal does not disclose the amount of money he intends to request. Still, it will undoubtedly involve billions more in taxpayer funding. And this funding will directly benefit pharmaceutical giants like Pfizer and Moderna. The American people are again being asked to foot the bill for a massive corporate benefit.
Deficit spending is nothing new for the Biden administration, but an additional layer of scrutiny is needed here. Even as the focus remains on Ukraine, border issues and disaster relief, how did the pressing need for a new vaccine suddenly jump to the top of the list? Last fall, Biden had requested over $9 billion for virus combat; Congress denied that request.
For those who value responsible spending and question the role of corporate influence in public health decisions, Biden’s latest move should not go unexamined. It’s not just about battling a virus; it’s about the choices that are made with taxpayer money and who ultimately stands to gain.