December 08, 2020

Operation Warp Speed chief cant explain Trumps new executive order on COVID-19 vaccines
President Trump is set to sign an executive order on COVID-19 vaccines, but what exactly does it do? The chief adviser to Operation Warp Speed evidently isn't sure. ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday spoke with Dr. Moncef Slaoui, Operation Warp Speed's chief science adviser, and asked him for an explanation about an executive order Trump plans to sign regarding COVID-19 vaccines. The order is intended to ensure the "United States government prioritizes getting the vaccine to American citizens before sending it to other nations," The New York Times reported. But when Stephanopoulos asked Slaoui to provide more details and explain what the order is, Slaoui wasn't able to. "Frankly, I don't know," Slaoui said. "Frankly, I'm staying out of this, so I can't comment." This led a surprised Stephanopoulos to respond, "You don't know? But you're the chief science adviser for Operation Warp Speed." But Slaoui reiterated that he isn't sure about the order and failed to provide an explanation. "I don't know exactly what this order is about," he said. ABC News reported that it's "not entirely clear" how the executive order will work but that it's "designed to prevent the U.S. government from shipping any doses it has purchased to aid any foreign countries until all needs are met within the United States." But Stephanopoulos observed on GMA that "it sounds like the problem is the opposite right now: Pfizer has made deals with other countries that are going to limit the supply here." Trump reportedly plans to sign the order at a "COVID-19 Vaccine Summit" he has planned for Tuesday. But according to Stat News, Pfizer and Moderna declined invitations to attend this "event that drug industry figures and one Trump Administration official largely viewed as a public relations stunt."

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