The following article was written by Jon Chesto and published by the Boston Globe.

Massachusetts has moved up the ranks of states with heavy Department of Defense spending — in large part because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Massachusetts is now ranked eighth, with $18.6 billion in total defense spending in the 2020 fiscal year, up from 10th in 2019, according to a newly release report from the defense agency. Massachusetts is narrowing the gap with Connecticut, which was the highest New England state on the list, in sixth place with $23.6 billion in defense spending. The big reason for Massachusetts’ ascension: Cambridge-based Moderna, and its COVID-19 vaccine. Moderna edged out General Dynamics as the state’s third busiest defense contractor in fiscal 2020, but was behind Raytheon and General Electric. “The Department of Defense is and has always been a major player for biotech and biomedical companies,” said Joseph Donovan, a Boston-based lobbyist with law firm Nelson Mullins who specializes in military work. “COVID-19 accelerated this trend.” — JON CHESTO

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