Dr. Moncef Slaoui, the chief scientific adviser of Operation Warp Speed, said on Wednesday that he’s submitted his resignation at the request of President-elect Joe Biden.
“As you know, I’m very supportive of this upcoming administration and, really, of course, of the operation and its mission and I will be doing everything I can to help them succeed. As part of that process, which I understand, they have asked me to resign from my role as the operation’s chief scientific adviser,” Slaoui told CNBC on Tuesday.
Slaoui said he submitted 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 the resources of the federal government and the private sector to develop and distribute CCP virus vaccines to Americans in a timely manner.
Slaoui said he will stay in the position until next month to help with the transition, as the in-coming president has yet to name a new chief scientific adviser 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 Jan. 21.
“As I had said, actually, early in December, prior to any approval of vaccines, that once two vaccines would be approved and two medicines would be approved … it would probably be time for me to move on and go back to my private life and private business,” Slaoui said.
CNBC admitted that the speed of the vaccine’s development, which was supervised by Dr. Slaoui, exceeded expectations, calling it “the fastest vaccine development in history.”
Currently, two vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna have been authorized in the United States, showing 95 percent efficacy in preventing disease. Johnson & Johnson is working on a vaccine with the potential for just one dose and is expected within weeks.
Slaoui was criticized for his ties to the pharmaceutical industry when he took his current job. He resigned from the board of Moderna and sold his share of the company, but he didn’t sell his share in GlaxoSmithKline, where he’s been working for 30 years, calling those stock his retirement.