June 18, 2020 at 1:24 AM EDT
Before the pandemic, top contractor received billions from government to help prepare the nation for biowarfare
As it races to create a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, the Trump administration this month announced that one of its largest pandemic-related contracts would go to a little-known biodefense company named Emergent BioSolutions.
The $628 million deal to help manufacture an eventual vaccine cemented Emergent’s status as the highest-paid and most important contractor to the HHS office responsible for preparing for public health threats and maintaining the government’s stockpile of emergency medical supplies.
A Washington Post examination found that Emergent’s dominance has fueled new risks for national health preparedness, according to documents and former government officials.
The industry consolidation has created “vulnerabilities in the supply chain,” while also raising the prospect of inflated costs because of a lack of competition, according to a confidential report obtained by The Post.
By Robert O’Harrow , Jon Swaine and Aaron Davis