Russia won the race to develop the first vaccine against the novel coronavirus. The United States has responded by slapping sanctions on a Russian research facility involved in creating it.
The US government has blacklisted several Russian scientific institutes, including the Russian Defense Ministry’s 48th Central Research Institute, which has worked with other non-military medical centers to develop and test the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine.
In the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic and a historic economic crisis, Washington has escalated its global campaign of economic warfare, imposing sanctions on foreign adversaries and announcing new punitive measures on a nearly daily basis.
More than one-fourth of people on Earth live in countries that are suffering from US sanctions.
In April, a Russian company sent ventilators to the United States as a form of humanitarian aid, to help overwhelmed hospitals treat coronavirus patients. It was later revealed that this Russian firm had been under US sanctions since 2014.
State-led Covid-19 vaccine research in Russia, China, Cuba beat US ‘public-private partnership’
The Russian government announced this August that it had registered the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine, called Sputnik V.
Sputnik V was developed by the Russian Health Ministry’s Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology. This scientific facility created the vaccine in a joint research project with the Russian Defense Ministry’s 48th Central Research Institute.
On August 27, the US Commerce Department imposed sanctions on Russia’s 48th Central Research Institute, blacklisting the scientific body.
While Russia took a state-led approach to create a coronavirus vaccine, the Trump administration announced a “public-private partnership” in May. The program, called “Operation Warp Speed,” saw the US government dole out billions of tax dollars to Big Pharma companies.
The Trump administration awarded massive contracts to private corporations like Novavax, Pfizer, and Moderna, while Trump reportedly offered “large sums of money” for exclusive rights to a vaccine being developed by a German firm so it could be sold for profit.
But the US public-private partnership was unable to develop a vaccine before foreign countries with government-led research efforts did.