When the Biden administration announced support for waiving COVID vaccine patents last week, it was met with praise, relief, skepticism, and alarm among different groups—but surprise all around. Pharmaceutical giants have long fought efforts to have their intellectual property released to meet international needs. And they’ve backed it up with immense political muscle. Could this time be different? Would it disincentivize future research, as critics like Bill Gates claim? And how much (and how quickly) could it help?

To understand the issue, Jim and Maeve are joined by Julie Rovner, the Chief Washington Correspondent for Kaiser Health News and host of the podcast “What The Health?”

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