Operation Warp Speed

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President Donald Trump formally announces Operation Warp Speed on May 15, 2020 in the White House Rose Garden.[1][2]

Operation Warp Speed is a public–private partnership, initiated by the Federal Government of the United States, to facilitate and accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. It is an interagency program that includes components of the Department of Health and Human Services, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health, and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA); the Department of Defense; private firms; and other federal agencies, including the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.


The idea for Operation Warp Speed was promulgated in early April 2020.[3] News about the project emerged later in the month.[4][5] As reported by Bloomberg News, Operation Warp Speed will promote mass production of vaccines with preliminary efficacy evidence allowing for faster distribution if clinical trials confirm the vaccine's effectiveness. The plan anticipates that some of these vaccines will not prove effective, adding to the program's cost, but potentially leading to the availability of a viable vaccine several months sooner than typical timelines.[6]

The public-private partnership was unveiled in mid-May 2020.[7] Operation Warp Speed will coordinate existing Health and Human Services-wide efforts, including the NIH's ACTIV partnership for vaccine and therapeutic development, NIH's RADx initiative for diagnostic development, and work by BARDA.[8]

In May 2020, Moncef Slaoui was named as Operation Warp Speed chief adviser. Slaoui is a venture capitalist and, formerly, Chairman of Global Research and Development and Chairman of Global Vaccines at GlaxoSmithKline, where he led the development of five major novel vaccines. General Gustave F. Perna, Commanding General, Army Materiel Command, was named Operation Warp Speed chief operating officer.[9][10]


Member Role Appointment
Moncef Slaoui Moncef Slaoui Chief Adviser May 15, 2020
Gustave Perna Gustave F. Perna Chief Operating Officer
Army General
May 15, 2020


  1. ^ "Remarks by President Trump on Vaccine Development". White House. 15 May 2020.
  2. ^ "President Trump Delivers Remarks on Vaccine Development". White House on YouTube. 15 May 2020.
  3. ^ Cohen, Jon (12 May 2020). "Unveiling 'Warp Speed,' the White House's America-first push for a coronavirus vaccine". Science.
  4. ^ Jacobs, Jennifer; Armstrong, Drew (29 April 2020). "Trump's 'Operation Warp Speed' Aims to Rush Coronavirus Vaccine". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  5. ^ Sanger, David E. (29 April 2020). "Trump Seeks Push to Speed Vaccine, Despite Safety Concerns". New York Times. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  6. ^ Jacobs, Jennifer; Armstrong, Drew (29 April 2020). "Trump's 'Operation Warp Speed' Aims to Rush Coronavirus Vaccine". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  7. ^ Conklin, Audrey (15 May 2020). "Trump launches 'Operation Warp Speed' for coronavirus vaccine". Fox Business. Retrieved 15 May 2020. [President] Trump described the administration's plan as 'a massive scientific industrial and logistical endeavor unlike anything our country has seen since the Manhattan Project' of World War II, with the intent to rapidly develop and distribute a vaccine with help from the U.S. military and world-renowned doctors and scientists.
  8. ^ "Trump Administration Announces Framework and Leadership for 'Operation Warp Speed'". U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 15 May 2020. Retrieved 15 May 2020. Among its other objectives, Operation Warp Speed aims to have substantial quantities of a safe and effective vaccine available for Americans by January 2021.
  9. ^ Smith, David (2020-05-15). "Trump unveils 'warp-speed' effort to create coronavirus vaccine by year's end". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  10. ^ Crisp, Elizabeth (2020-05-15). "Trump launches "operation warp speed" effort to develop coronavirus vaccine by year's end". Newsweek. Retrieved 2020-05-15. The project will cost billions of dollars, one of the people said. And it will almost certainly result in significant waste by making inoculations at scale before knowing if they’ll be safe and effective -- meaning that vaccines that fail will be useless. But it could mean having doses of vaccine available for the American public by the end of this year, instead of by next summer.

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