Washington – President Donald Trump will appoint a former pharmaceutical chief to lead his government’s actions to produce and distribute a coronavirus vaccine before the end of the year.
Moncef Slaoui, a former GlaxoSmithKline executive, will spearhead “Operation Speed Warp,” Trump’s initiative to accelerate the process of developing a vaccine against COVID-19, according to a government official. Slaoui will serve as a volunteer, with the support of Army General Gustave Perna, who heads the United States Army War Materials Command.
The president and White House advisers hope to produce coronavirus vaccines faster than many scientists believe is realistic. The government aims to have 300 million doses to distribute to Americans by the end of the year, believing that a reliable vaccine is the only way to achieve an economic recovery.RELATED
Operation Warp is largely independent of the White House task force to deal with the coronavirus, which is also modifying its strategy to focus on developing a vaccine.
White House adviser Jared Kushner is promoting the initiative, involving officials from the Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s leading infectious disease expert said Tuesday that there will be no vaccine available by the time the next school year begins.
“The idea of having treatments available or a vaccine to facilitate the re-entry of students into the fall period would be something that would still be a little too far,” he said, “even at the maximum speed at which we are advancing.”