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Coronavirus

Warp Speed’s Slaoui expects two COVID-19 vaccines this year, rebuts Sen. Warren

Operation Warp Speed scientific adviser defends record, predicts rapid vaccines authorization, denies political interference

Operation Warp Speed scientific adviser defends record, predicts rapid vaccines authorization, denies political interference

Sep 26, 2020 | 4:02 AM GMT

Two COVID-19 vaccines and two drugs that reduce mortality from the disease will be authorized by the end of 2020, Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific adviser to Operation Warp Speed, predicted in an interview with BioCentury.

That progress, according to Slaoui, is due to the acceleration enabled by Operation Warp Speed, which is involved in every aspect of vaccine and drug development and manufacturing. 

The initiative and Slaoui have, however, been criticized. Accusations range from kowtowing to President Donald Trump to tolerating conflicts of interest.

Slaoui rejected suggestions that he and the Warp Speed team have come under political pressure to exaggerate progress or take shortcuts. He reported that he is a Democrat, that he isn’t “aligned” with Trump and “there has been no interference” from the president or anyone else in the administration.

The former pharma R&D head and chairman of vaccines at GlaxoSmithKline plc (LSE:GSK; NYSE:GSK) also responded to accusations from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) that his refusal to divest shares in the company constitutes an unacceptable conflict of interest. 

Responding to Sen. Warren

Slaoui pushed back against his toughest critic.

Speaking

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