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Operation Warp Speed: Does credit for Moderna’s COVID vaccine go to the US taxpayer?

Without the help of the US government initiative "Operation Warp Speed," Moderna co-founder Noubar Afeyan says that it would have been impossible for the company to develop and deliver its vaccine so quickly. The fact, he says, that the American people may be days away from receiving its first doses is, in large part, thanks to their taxpayer dollars. Does President Trump, himself, deserve credit? "Without caveat," Afeyan says. He spoke with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

Watch the GZERO World episode: A Shot in the Arm: Moderna's Co-Founder on the COVID-19 Vaccine

How development of the COVID-19 vaccine shattered records

They said it couldn't be done: a vaccine developed in record time. In 1967, Merck had a license for a mumps vaccine, less than five years for work that normally takes decades. But that record is now being shattered as the COVID-19 vaccine reaches the market in less than a year. It's an unprecedented scientific development in a whirlwind year of crisis.

Watch the GZERO World episode: A Shot in the Arm: Moderna's Co-Founder on the COVID-19 Vaccine

What are the “known unknowns” about Moderna’s vaccine?

Moderna co-founder Noubar Afeyan concedes that there is plenty he still doesn't know about his company's COVID-19 vaccine, just as there's plenty he still doesn't know about the virus. But he is confident about one thing: "I view the vaccine as the best mask. It's a molecular mask, and once we have it onboard once, then presumably it will protect us." His conversation with Ian Bremmer was part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Watch the GZERO World episode: A Shot in the Arm: Moderna's Co-Founder on the COVID-19 Vaccine

Podcast: COVID Vaccine in Record Time - What Now? Moderna Co-Founder Noubar Afeyan

Listen: The pandemic's US death toll shows no signs of abating and the holiday season's spike will likely dwarf any surge that came before it. But in the midst of this dark winter there are glimmers of hope, as the first of the COVID-19 vaccines have nearly arrived (or, depending on when you read this, already have). On the GZERO World podcast, Ian Bremmer interviews Noubar Afeyan, the co-founder of a leading vaccine developer Moderna. They'll discuss distribution plans, the revolutionary science behind Moderna's vaccine, and how a company younger than Twitter became a frontrunner in the race to end the pandemic.

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