Trump Says ‘Warp Speed’ Vaccine Project Isn’t Over-Promising

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump defended his administration’s effort to fast-track a coronavirus vaccine, saying Thursday that the project’s goal to produce 300 million doses by the end of the year isn’t too ambitious.

“I’m not over-promising,” he said in a White House meeting with New Jersey Govenor Phil Murphy. He complained that “if we come up with a vaccine in record time” his critics would say that he should’ve done it faster.

The project, which the administration calls “Operation Warp Speed,” was first revealed in a Bloomberg News report on Wednesday. It aims to hasten development of a vaccine by simultaneously testing many different candidates and beginning production before they’ve completed clinical trials.

The government’s top infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, has repeatedly cautioned that a vaccine shouldn’t be expected for at least 12 to 18 months, but Trump -- facing re-election in November -- wants it done much faster. There is no precedent for the timetable envisioned by the Warp Speed effort, however.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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