The pharmaceutical company Moderna, which has already received over $10 billion in taxpayer funds for the development of its COVID-19 vaccine, could receive even more public money at the request of the Biden Administration.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, lawyers with the Department of Justice (DOJ) offered in court filings last month to “relieve” Moderna of any liabilities it may face as the result of a lawsuit claiming that the company has not paid licensing fees for the technology it utilized to develop its vaccine for the Chinese coronavirus.
Moderna’s lawyers have claimed that, since the creation of the vaccine was part of the federal government’s plan known as “Operation Warp Speed,” the government should have to pay for any legal settlement. Lawyers with the Biden DOJ ultimately agreed with this sentiment, saying that any financial burden should “transfer” to the federal government.
The request was denied by a judge, but both Moderna and the DOJ could appeal the judge’s decision. In response, one of the companies that has sued Moderna, Genevant, declared that Moderna is “trying to shift responsibility for its patent infringement to the U.S. taxpayer.”
As a result of its cooperation with the government and subsequent revenue from vaccine sales, Moderna has faced criticism from both the Right and the Left. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has called Moderna the “poster child” for Big Pharma and its profiting off of the suffering of the American people during a pandemic.
After it was revealed that the company plans to quadruple the price of the COVID vaccine, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee invited Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel to testify before Congress. The company has made billions off the vaccine already, having failed to market a drug for the last 10 years. Following the release of the vaccine, the company’s revenues increased from $800 million in 2020 to $19 billion in 2022.
In addition to direct revenue, the company has received billions more from government handouts during the vaccine’s development. Moderna was given $8.2 billion through a Pentagon contract, while the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) paid the company another $1.7 billion.