By April 2020, a third of the world’s population was living under medical martial law. But there was a light at the end of the tunnel: trusted pharmaceutical companies were developing “safe and effective” vaccines that would stop the spread of the dreaded virus and end the pandemic. Or so we were told.
The clock was ticking – and Big Pharma needed lots of money in order to expedite the creation of a miracle drug. In the United States, the Trump administration launched Operation Warp Speed, a lavishly funded program that aimed to accelerate the development and distribution of coronavirus elixirs.
At the same time, the Russian government poured resources into developing its own vaccine. Funding for the public health initiative came from the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), the country’s sovereign wealth fund. In June 2020, RDIF announced a joint venture with R-Pharm, one of Russia’s largest pharmaceutical firms.
The duo would work together to produce and distribute a vaccine developed by the Russian health ministry’s Gamaleya Center.