A U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel’s endorsement of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine on Thursday had special significance for Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont. Daines, a chemical engineer with experience launching FDA-regulated products, championed an effort in March for $10 billion in federal funding to accelerate the development and manufacturing of the coronavirus vaccines. The funding jumpstarted Operation Warp Speed, the unprecedented effort to develop and distribute vaccines at a record pace. “It will be the best $10 billion we’ve ever spent,” Daines told Fox News Thursday shortly after an FDA advisory panel voted to endorse the Moderna vaccine, which got $483 million in federal funds in April. FDA PANEL ENDORSES MODERNA’S CORONAVIRUS VACCINE”If you think about return on investment … this will have the highest ROI we’ve ever done in terms of investment from the federal government.” GOP Sen. Steve Daines, center, speaks at a campaign stop in Clancy, Mont. Daines won re-election, beating out Gov. Steve Bullock in one of the most expensive contests of the election season. (Thom Bridge/Independent Record via AP) In the early days of the pandemic, Daines was concerned the federal government response was too focused on treating the symptoms of the problem and not trying to stop the pandemic. He started talking to federal health leaders on

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