Which countries will be fighting the Ebola pandemic?
A top aide to President Donald Trump is under investigation by the Justice Department for his involvement in a plan to develop and launch an Ebola vaccine.
The probe was announced Tuesday, a day after The New York Times published an exposé detailing how the Trump campaign was working on the project and how a White House official met with a former lobbyist who was part of the plan.
The former lobbyist, Rick Wray, told the Times that he helped develop a plan for the vaccine, which would be marketed to US allies and allies of other countries to combat the virus.
A source told the newspaper that Wray was one of several officials who attended a meeting between the Trump transition team and Wray in June 2016 to discuss developing the vaccine.
That meeting took place after a meeting with an Ebola expert at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a report from the New York Daily News.
The paper’s report also quoted Wray as saying the meeting with the CDC expert was a “very productive” one.
Wray did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
He was also named in a federal lawsuit brought by the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) against Wray for allegedly failing to disclose that he had worked on a vaccine project at the time.
A spokesperson for the Justice department did not return a request from Fox News for comment, but a spokesperson for Wray’s attorney did not dispute the Times report.
The vaccine would use a vaccine derived from a strain of the virus that was isolated from the Ebola virus and was developed by a private company called Merck.
It is currently undergoing clinical trials in the US and has a phase 1 trial slated for 2018 in the Netherlands.
The Justice Department investigation comes after the Trump administration delayed the US release of a vaccine for Ebola.
The Centers for Diseases Control and Control (CDC) had originally planned to release the vaccine in 2018, but announced on Tuesday that the trial would be postponed until 2018, according the Washington Post.
The delay was not a result of the government’s refusal to release information about the vaccine’s safety or effectiveness, the CDC said in a statement.
“We are still reviewing the decision to delay the trial and look forward to presenting information about this vaccine in the coming months,” the statement read.
Wryre was one part of a team of White House officials who had met with Merck CEO Ian Read, according an email obtained by the Times.
Read and Wryer met at the White House, where they discussed the potential use of the vaccine and other Ebola related issues, according a source familiar with the matter.
Read has denied that he worked on the vaccine project and said that he met with Wray.
“He was a very active part of helping to prepare for the trial,” Read said in an interview with the Associated Press.
“I don’t recall any discussions of any vaccine.”
Read said the vaccine would be “very effective” in fighting the disease.
“The White House did not intend to release any vaccine information at the start of the trial.”
The government is still considering whether to release more information about Wray and the vaccine during the first year of clinical trials, according another person familiar with their work.
A separate effort to test the vaccine was launched in March, but the government has yet to announce whether that trial will go forward.
In addition to the ongoing CDC trial, Wray also worked on several other vaccine projects with the Trump White House during his time in the administration.
Trump hired Wray to help develop the vaccine while he was the CEO of the pharmaceutical giant, according in the emails obtained by The New Yorker.
Wringer and the Trump team were also in contact with a group of private industry experts in December 2016 to develop a vaccine, the emails show.
The White House said the trial is still being conducted and that Wrye did not work on it.
Wroy was also working on a separate vaccine project in February 2017, according on a document obtained by Bloomberg.
In an email, the White Hill team wrote that WRAY and WRAY staff met with other vaccine experts at the Trump Administration.
The team met to discuss the possibility of using the vaccines in a trial, the email said.
The project was later canceled after the US government failed to provide data on its effectiveness, according Wray spokesperson, Jonathan Greenblatt.
The administration also said Wray had no involvement in developing the US-developed vaccine.
Trump is also reportedly considering a plan that would see the US military pay for a vaccine made by a British company called AstraZeneca, according Bloomberg.
The UK company said last week that it would pay $1.2 billion for a new vaccine that could be made by American companies.
The Trump administration is reportedly weighing whether to pay for the drug in a way that would be consistent with the current government guidelines.
WRAY was named in an email from the White house to the Trump Transition team that was released by The Times. WRYER IS