Operation Warp Velocity’s chief advisor is stepping down, Biden’s interim official says
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump hosts a coronavirus response event in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington
By Jeff Mason
(Reuters) – Moncef Slaoui, the chief advisor to Operation Warp Speed, has resigned but will be available as an advisor to the incoming Joe Biden administration for about four weeks, a Biden interim official told Reuters late Tuesday.
According to https://cnb.cx/3bAxEce to CNBC, which first reported the development, Slaoui’s role as head of COVID-19 vaccine development for the government effort is expected to wane after Jan. 20.
The Biden team has not asked Slaoui to exceed his current contract, which includes 30 days’ notice prior to termination, CNBC said.
The U.S. Department of Health, which oversees Operation Warp Speed, did not immediately respond to requests for comment late Tuesday.
Operation Warp Speed is the U.S. government’s program to distribute COVID-19 vaccines.
The operation began last year as a national effort by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense with a goal of making significant quantities of safe and effective vaccines available to Americans by January 2021.
However, as of last December, only about 2.6 million Americans had received a COVID-19 vaccine, which left the US well behind the government’s goal of vaccinating 20 million people last month.
“We know it should be better and we are working hard to do better,” Slaoui said at a press conference in late December.
Slaoui, a former CEO of GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE 🙂 who is also on the board of directors of Modern (NASDAQ 🙂 Inc was named last spring to advance government efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine on an accelerated schedule.
According to Politico, Slaoui had announced that he would be stepping down by the beginning of this year, but last week he said he had “decided to extend this to ensure the operation continues to work as it has evolved through the transition of administration”.
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