The White House scrapped plans to hold a meeting today at a Baltimore-based vaccine plant run by Emergent BioSolutions following an exposé from The New York Times.
The Biden administration also announced plans to conduct an audit of the Strategic National Stockpile after the publication of the article, which described how the biopharmaceutical company lobbied the federal government to buy millions of anthrax vaccine doses.
Over the past ten years, the U.S. government has devoted almost half of its stockpile budget to BioSolutions’ anthrax vaccine, leaving a dearth of funding for pandemic response.
Biden relocated the meeting to the White House, where he will host executives from Merck and Johnson & Johnson, which are jointly manufacturing COVID-19 vaccine.
“We just felt [the White House] was a more appropriate place to have the meeting,” Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said.
Emergent released a statement calling the article “misleading,” emphasizing its anthrax vaccine’s potential to reduce the risk of bioterrorist attacks.