Politics, Policy & Law
COVID accountability, Biden’s bidding & start-up season: a BioCentury podcast
Deals and venture rounds are being unveiled in droves as the J.P. Morgan conference began Monday, but last week’s events in the U.S. capital and the ongoing pandemic have expanded the list of issues to discuss on the latest edition of BioCentury This Week podcast. Two of BioCentury’s editors offer thoughts from their commentaries published on Monday on those topics. The BioCentury team also looks at what to expect from the Biden administration on drug pricing and its COVID response, as well as the state of play for early-stage biotechs and a few top headlines from the first day of JPM.
Arguing that no country has been as disastrously incompetent in its COVID response as the U.S., Washington Editor Steve Usdin, in an Editor’s Commentary, calls on Congress and the Biden administration to launch an independent public inquiry into the failures that allowed the coronavirus to cause “so much unnecessary death and devastation.”
The commission’s remit, he says, must include detailed steps that Congress, the Biden team, life sciences companies, academic researchers and others can take to better protect the nation and the world from pandemic threats.
In a separate Editor’s Commentary, Simone Fishburn says the events of Jan. 6 bring a special responsibility to scientists, notably biomedical scientists and the biopharma industry, whose bedrock is adherence to evidence-based facts in the name of saving lives. The Editor in Chief of BioCentury calls on industry to use its newly enhanced reputation to act as standard-bearers for the truth.
“Once you have facts, we can have differences on how you act on them, what policies you create and that’s where political differences should lie,” Fishburn says.