U.S. President Donald Trump announced the launch of a massive scientific program that will focus on the development of the COVID-19 vaccine. He called it Operation Warp Speed, which will be a government coordinating effort to secure a vaccine for the infection as soon as possible.
“Operation Warp Speed, that means big and it means fast,” Trump said on Friday from the White House Rose Garden, marking the program’s resemblance with the building of the atomic bomb during World War II. “A massive scientific and industrial, logistic endeavor unlike anything our country has seen since the Manhattan Project.”
The president said that the project would receive all support and resources from the government to carry out the trials and tests safely and successfully. The presentation was quite precise, and it put forth the required details. Trump noted that the program was making trials on approximately 100 vaccine candidates from all across the globe and said that over 14 of them believed the vaccine to be the most promising. He also said that that the objective of this initiative is to develop, manufacture, and distribute the vaccine as early as possible, and it is expected to be available by the end of this year.
Trump, during the announcement, confirmed and named an Army general and a former healthcare executive who will be leading the operation. On the other hand, Moncef Slaoui, who has been in command of the vaccine division at GlaxoSmithKline, the pharmaceutical ace, will be the in-charge of the entire mission. The president further added that Army General Gen Gustave Perna, who looks after the distribution for the U.S. Army, will act as the chief operating officer for the program.
Slaoui took over the stage after Trump and said that he is quite confident that a “few hundred million doses of vaccine” will be ready to be delivered by the end of 2020. He also added that he wouldn’t have committed in case he thought the vaccine was unachievable.
The president indicated though that the production of the vaccine was “at risk,” and there is no guarantee of obtaining a usable vaccine; the government will still take care of the financial costs, legal liabilities as well as clinical trial costs associated with the operation.