President Trump on Friday announced a new public-private partnership to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus as part of what's being called “Operation Warp Speed," saying he hopes the vaccines will be produced "quickly" and will even possibly be ready by the end of the year.
“This is an endeavor unlike anything our country has seen since the Manhattan project … no one has seen anything like we’re doing now within our country since the second world war. Incredible,” Trump said in introducing “Operation Warp Speed.”
The event took place at the White House in the Rose Garden. The president was joined by his chief of staff Mark Meadows, senior advisor Jared Kushner, coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci.
“That means big and it means fast,” Trump said of the efforts. “Its objective is to finish developing and then to manufacture and distribute a proven coronavirus vaccine … prior to the end of the year. I think we’re going to have some very good results coming out very quickly.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, and Surgeon General Jerome Adams, as well as other officials from the Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also participated in the Rose Garden event.
"I want to thank this group for joining us as we announce a historic, groundbreaking initiative in our ongoing effort to rapidly develop and manufacture a coronavirus vaccine," Trump said Friday.
The president said Saturday "will mark 30 days since we released the White House guidelines for a safe and phased opening of America."
"We're going to have an amazing year next year and a great transition into the fourth quarter," Trump said.