White House science chief wants next pandemic vaccine ready in 100 days
White House science chief wants next pandemic vaccine ready in 100 days

The new White House science adviser wants to have a vaccine ready to fight the next pandemic in just about 100 days after recognising a potential viral outbreak.

In his first interview after being sworn in Wednesday, Eric Lander painted a rosy near future where a renewed American emphasis on science not only better prepares the world for the next pandemic with plug-and-play vaccines, but also changes how medicine fights disease and treats patients, curbs climate change and further explores space.

He even threw in a "Star Trek" reference. "This is a moment in so many ways, not just health, that we can rethink fundamental assumptions about what's possible and that's true of climate and energy and many areas," Lander told The Associated Press. Lander took his oath of office on a 500-year-old fragment of the Mishnah, an ancient Jewish text documenting oral traditions and laws.

He is the first director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy to be promoted to Cabinet-level. Lander said Joe Biden's elevation of the science post is a symbolic show "that science should have a seat at the table" but also allows him to have higher-level talks with different agency chiefs about making policy.

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