Trump says former Lilly exec will lead “Operation Warp Speed”

May 15, 2020

President Trump has named former GlaxoSmithKline executive Moncef Slaoui as chief adviser to "Operation Warp Speed," an effort to speed up development of a vaccine for COVID-19 in the U.S.

Trump is set to lay out the details of Operation Warp Speed today. The program was revealed at the end of April, but little detail was offered. The program's main goal is to push the development of a vaccine sooner than the 12-18 month timeframe that has frequently been given.

Slaoui has held numerous roles at Sanofi, including chairman of global vaccines. Since his retirement, Slaoui has served on pharmaceutical and health tech company boards, including Moderna  – a main player in the vaccine race.

In addition, according to two administration officials, Trump has also named General Gustave Perna to the Operation Warp Speed team. Perna is commander of the U.S. Army Materiel Command and is expected to be named the chief operating officer of the new program.