President Trump has chosen a former pharmaceutical executive to lead the nation’s drug and vaccine offensive against Covid-19.
Dr. Moncef Slaoui has been picked to lead “Operation Warp Speed” – an effort to fast track the development of a Covid-19 vaccine — for the Trump Administration. The effort will operate separately from the Corona Virus Task Force.
Slaoui’s experience includes experience as Executive Director & Chairman of Global Vaccines for GlaxoSmithKline and Chairman of Research for Genelabs Technologies. He’s also served as aa University Professor and currently sits on the Board of Directors at Moderna Therapeutics.
His hiring has been lauded by industry leaders.
Jim Greenwood, CEO of leading biotechnology trade association BIO, commended Slaoui’s selection: “Dr. Moncef Slaoui is an excellent choice to lead the President’s Operation Warp Speed initiative. Over his long career, he has demonstrated a strong commitment to public health, innovation, and a public-private partnership that are vital to building the collaborations we need to bring new therapeutics, diagnostics, and vaccines to the American people. Dr. Slaoui has always stood for scientific excellence, and the biotechnology industry stands ready to work with him as we begin this new effort in the race to eradicate the pandemic.”
Slaoui denied has denied he was being considered for the role.
According to Politico:
The Trump administration had been tight-lipped about the selection of Slaoui. “We will not comment about ongoing interviews to staff Operation Warp Speed,” a HHS spokesperson told POLITICO on Tuesday.
Slaoui repeatedly denied since last week that he was considering a role with the Trump administration. “I’m the same venture capitalist you talked to last week,” he told POLITICO on Monday.