Dr. Moncef Slaoui, who oversees the Trump administration Coronavirus Immunization program, CNBC said Monday he hoped its work to accelerate development would not be interrupted by a transfer of power to the president-elect Joe Biden.
“We will not be distracted by the circumstances or the context,” said Slaoui “Close the bell.” “We’re going to move on as quickly as possible, always looking to the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines. And of course, we’d hope there won’t be any disruptions due to the transition.”
The comments came in response to a question on comments Biden had made the previous Monday “more people can die” if the Trump administration does not properly coordinate with Biden’s staff on its plans to distribute a vaccine in the United States.
“How can we get over 300 million Americans vaccinated? What’s the game plan? It’s a huge, huge, huge endeavor,” Biden told reporters after speaking on the economy.
Numerous media organizations, including NBC News, voted for Biden more than a week ago. However, President Donald Trump has refused to allow the President’s race and his administration has not started that yet formal change of power pursued various legal disputes related to election results in battlefield states during the election campaign.
“If we have to wait until January 20 to start planning this, we will be over a month and a half behind,” said Biden, referring to the inauguration day. “And so it is important that it is done, that there is coordination now.”
Slaoui, who spent decades at the British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, was appointed in May Overseeing the Trump administration’s vaccine program known as Operation Warp Speed. It distributed Billions of dollars to drug manufacturers to accelerate research and development, as well as to manufacture and distribute vaccines if they receive regulatory approval. The complex mission hasn’t changed in the past few weeks, said Slaoui.
“From day one, our goal has been to go fast. And absolutely every day and every hour counts, and that’s why we are where we are,” he said. “Our focus is on saving American lives and the lives of people in general, and that is what we will continue to focus on.”
The US government has invested over $ 2 billion in a biotech company Modernathat earlier Monday announced preliminary dates that showed that his vaccine was more than 94% effective in preventing Covid-19. The company hopes to apply for an emergency permit from the Food and Drug Administration in the coming weeks.
Slaoui, a former board member of Moderna, described the results of the interim analysis as a “great achievement”, partly due to the federal government’s support for vaccine development. While regulatory approvals are still required before the vaccine can be distributed, Slaoui said the news should give hope to a nation affected by the pandemic.
“I think we can really see that there is light at the end of the tunnel. We won’t be spending four or five years under these conditions,” said Slaoui. “I think vaccines will be available from a lot of different sources, including those from the surgery and the companies we worked with. So in the end there is hope and it is not that far off for us.”
– CNBC’s Noah Higgins-Dunn contributed to this report.