The Biden administration is launching a $5 billion follow-up to Operation Warp Speed called "Project Next Gen." It has 3 goals, of which the most relevant for future pandemic preparedness is development of pan-coronavirus vaccines. The $5 billion seems to be coming from unspent COVID funds, so no new appropriations are needed. 

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I appreciate that the new initiative is also a stealth reference to Star Trek -- "The Next Generation" being the sequel series to original Star Trek just like this is the sequel to Operation Warp Speed. Makes it seem like there are some live players in the White House fighting for what would really do the most for pandemic preparedness, instead of just optimizing for whatever "looks good" in an HHS funding package.

Sad, of course, to see the usual total lack of recognition that in addition to subsidizing production, it would also help advance medical progress if we made production/innovation easier by reforming onerous and way-too-slow FDA processes.

In addition to the pan-coronavirus vaccine effort, I also appreciate the funding for mucosal vaccines that would be easier/more pleasant to administer (no needles that scare people and create anti-vax sentiment, just a friendly nasal spray), and would do more to stop transmission of the virus between people, as opposed to just preventing severe illness and death.

Credit to folks like Alex Tabarrok at Marginal Revolution (and many, many others throughout government, pharma, EA, etc) who throughout the pandemic advocated for neglected good ideas like these. Maybe someday we will even see important FDA reforms, funding for metagenomic sequencing to identify early new pandemics, bans on dangerous gain-of-function-style research, and etc! (

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