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Operation Warp Speed chief Moncef Slaoui to resign at Biden team’s request

Moroccan-born researcher Moncef Slaoui. / DR
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Operation Warp Speed Chief Adviser Moncef Slaoui has submitted his resignation at the request of the incoming Biden team, CNBC reported on Tuesday.

Slaoui will be heading vaccine development for another month to help with the transition, two people familiar with the with the situation told CNBC. His role will be diminished by January 20.

It is not clear who will be replacing the Moroccan-American researcher, who was appointed by President Donald Trump in May 2020 to lead the US coronavirus vaccine project.

Slaoui had said before that he would step down after «two vaccines and two therapies for Covid-19 reached the market, which happened last month with the clearance of Moderna’s vaccine», the same source added.

«I decided to extend that in order to ensure that the operation continues to perform the way it has performed through the transition of administration», Slaoui said. «We’re getting close to the point where my value add is more limited», he added.

Slaoui was criticized for his links to the pharmaceutical industry in the United States. In August 2020, Democrats questioned an Alexandria consulting company about a contract that allowed Slaoui to «maintain personal investments and avoid making ethics disclosures of his holdings in pharmaceutical companies».  

Slaoui who was former Moderna executive resigned from his position as member of the company’s board of directors earlier in May after he was appointed by President Donald Trump to co-chair Operation Warp Speed.

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