Trump to name former pharmaceutical exec to lead U.S. coronavirus vaccine push

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By ZEKE MILLER The Associated Press

Posted May 13, 2020 9:48 pm

Updated May 13, 2020 9:50 pm

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1:20Coronavirus outbreak: White House says Trump will push drug companies to make affordable vaccines

When discussing possible future vaccines for COVID-19 on Tuesday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany would not commit to whether President Donald Trump would ensure people will get the vaccine regardless of income, but said he would push pharmaceutical companies to make vaccines affordable.

President Donald Trump is set to name a former pharmaceutical executive to lead his administration’s all-out effort to produce and distribute a coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year.

Moncef Slaoui, a former GlaxoSmithKline executive, will lead “Operation Warp Speed,” Trump’s push to accelerate the vaccine development process for COVID-19, according to an administration official. Slaoui is to serve in a volunteer capacity, and will be assisted by Army Gen. Gustave Perna, the commander of United States Army Materiel Command.

The move comes as the president and White House aides hope to produce vaccines for the coronavirus faster than what many scientists believe is realistic.

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