US government pours $10 billion into vaccine project

Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), holds up a model of SARS-CoV-2, known as the novel coronavirus, during a U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing on the plan to research, manufacture, and distribute a coronavirus vaccine. Washington, D.C, U.S., July 2, 2020. Credit: Saul Loeb/Pool via REUTERS.

The Pentagon and the Department of Health and Human Services are leading “Operation Warp Speed,” a $10 billion program to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Coronavirus has become the defining issue of the 2020 election, and presidential candidate Joe Biden says the Trump administration is downplaying the pandemic. Some colleges and universities say they’ll only offer online courses in the fall to help curb COVID-19 contagion, but now international students will have to return to their native countries if they can’t take in-person classes.