Dr. Moncef Slaoui, Operation Warp Speed’s chief scientific advisor, said Wednesday that he resigned at the request of President-elect Joe Biden.
“As you know, I am very supportive of this next administration and, really, of course, the operation and its mission and I will do everything I can to help them succeed. As part of that process, which I understand, I have been asked to resign from my role as chief scientific advisor to the operation, « Slaoui told CNBC on Tuesday.
Slaoui said he tendered his resignation on Tuesday and thanked the Trump administration for the opportunity to help the country, the people, and the people of the world.
Operation Warp Speed is the Trump administration’s program to coordinate federal government and private sector resources to develop and distribute PCC virus vaccines to Americans in a timely manner.
Slaoui said he will remain in the post until next month to help with the transition, as the incoming president has yet to appoint a new senior scientific advisor for the federal government’s vaccine distribution effort.
Slaoui said he will support the leadership appointed by the Biden administration. He accepted « a contractual arrangement » that would allow him to leave his post on January 21.
“As I said, actually, in early December, before the vaccines were approved, that once two vaccines and two drugs were approved… it would probably be time to move on and get back to my private life and private business,” he said. Slaoui.
CNBC admitted that the speed of vaccine development, which was overseen by Dr. Slaoui, exceeded expectations and called it « the fastest vaccine development ever. »
Currently, two vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna have been licensed in the United States, showing 95 percent efficacy in preventing disease. Johnson & Johnson is working on a vaccine with the potential for a single dose and is expected in a few weeks.
Slaoui was criticized for his ties to the pharmaceutical industry when he took his current job. He resigned from Moderna’s board and sold his share of the company, but did not sell his stake in GlaxoSmithKline, where he has been working for 30 years, and called those actions his retirement.