Ranking Member Scalise Applauds Launch of Operation Warp Speed

Published: May 15, 2020

Today the Trump Administration announced the details of Operation Warp Speed, a groundbreaking and aggressive effort in America’s war against the coronavirus. The project will work to dramatically shorten the development timeline for Coronavirus vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics and get them to the front lines as quickly as possible.

When President Trump saw the proposed timelines for getting critical tests, treatments, and vaccines to the American people, he understood that it would not be fast enough to save American lives. In response, he put together Operation Warp Speed to amplify efforts and speed development of this critical infrastructure. The project will accomplish this by eliminating inefficiencies from the process of getting these products ready to use while significantly increasing manufacturing capabilities for them to meet America’s needs.

“I applaud President Trump on his swift and aggressive action in leading America’s war against this invisible enemy, including this launch of Operation Warp Speed to develop and deploy supplies to the frontlines of this fight as quickly and effectively as possible,” said Republican Whip and Ranking Member of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis Steve Scalise (R-La.). “We need to sharply focus on safely reopening our economy, and this action will be a huge step in allowing us to achieve that mission. Throughout this global pandemic, President Trump has worked tirelessly to make sure that our front line workers and patients have the tools they need to combat this disease, and I applaud him now for doubling down on this effort.”

The project will be led by four-star General Gustave Perna — commander of the U.S. Army Materiel Command  — who will serve as the project’s chief operating officer, and Moncef Slaoui — the former head of GlaxoSmithKline’s vaccine’s division — who will serve as chief scientist. This effort will harness the genius of experts from the medical, pharmaceutical, and military fields as part of the Administration’s whole-of-America response to the coronavirus crisis, the scale of which hasn’t been seen since World War II.

Operation Warp Speed is just the latest example of President Trump’s tireless efforts to get a safe, effective, and reliable coronavirus vaccine to the frontlines of this fight. America received the virus’ genetic sequence on January 10th, started working on a vaccine the very next day, and started Phase 1 clinical trials just 62 days later; a record speed for vaccine development.

Currently, the Trump Administration is looking at 14 possible vaccine candidates in various stages of clinical development as experts across the private sector and the federal government work around the clock. Operation Warp Speed will provide support and resources to accelerate these development and trials of these candidates.

At the same time, the Trump administration is working to safely get America back to work. Yesterday the Centers for Disease control and Prevention issued new guidelines that provide a clear and safe pathway to get America economy opened up and roaring once again.

“CDC’s new guidelines for safely reopening our economy prove President Trump’s point that America does not have to choose between physical health and economic health,” Ranking Member Scalise said. “We know we can do both, and more than 35 states are already proving that you can do both: reopen your economy while also protecting the health and safety of people.“