Watch CBS News

Trump announces top officials for "Operation Warp Speed" for coronavirus vaccine development

Trump on vaccine development
Trump announces leaders for "Operation Warp Speed" to find a coronavirus vaccine 12:59

President Trump expressed optimism on Friday about the timeline and success of a coronavirus vaccine on Friday, as he announced new top officials to lead "Operation Warp Speed" intended to develop and identify an effective vaccine. Moncef Slaoui and General Gustave Perna will lead the federal government's effort to develop and distribute a vaccine as quickly as possible.

Sloui is a former pharma executive, and Perna is the commander of the United States Army Material Command. 

The president told reporters in the White House Rose Garden he thinks they're going to have a vaccine in the "pretty near future," by the end of the year. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar also said a vaccine should be available to the public by January. 

However, experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious diseases expert, say a vaccine will take 12-18 months to develop. 

"Vaccine or no vaccine, we're back," the president said. 

Dr. Rick Bright, ousted virus expert, says U.S. faces "darkest winter" if coronavirus rebounds 14:42

The president has said the U.S. military Trump says he would mobilize military to distribute coronavirus vaccine when it's ready

The president claimed the U.S. is "working together with many different countries" and with "no ego" on developing a vaccine. The U.S. is not taking part in the World Health Organization's search for a vaccine. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.