Under 'Operation Warp Speed' Trump hopes for COVID-19 vaccine by end of year

Washington DC [USA], May 16 (ANI): President Donald Trump on Friday said that the United States will be able to deliver a few hundred million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, under 'Operation Warp Speed', by the end of this year.

"I have very recently seen early data from a clinical trial with a coronavirus vaccine and this data made me feel even more confident that we'll be able to deliver a few hundred million doses of vaccine by the end of 2020 and we will do the best we can," Trump said at a press conference at the White House on Friday.

"I want to update you on the next stage of this momentous medical initiative, it's called Operation Warp Speed," Trump said announcing the vaccine initiative.

Operation Warp Speed is a "scientific, industrial, and logistical endeavour", unlike anything our country has seen since recent years, White House said. The President named Gen Gustave Perna, a US Army general as the chief operating officer of the mission which will be led by Moncef Slaoui, who headed vaccines division at pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline.

Apart from the vaccine, Trump said the new initiative will also focus on the development of medicines for those who are already infected with the illness.

Answering a question on what he will do if China develops the vaccine first, Trump said he believed the US would have access to vaccine even if Beijing was the first country to prepare one.

On Thursday, Trump had said that the US might have a vaccine for coronavirus by the end of 2020, much ahead than what many experts have predicted.

"And I think we're going to have a vaccine by the end of the year, Trump said as he prepared to board Marine One to visit a medical equipment distribution centre in Pennsylvania.

As of 12.30 am Saturday, the number of people infected globally stands at 4,500,476 with at least 304,835 deaths reported, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

The United States has the highest case count in the world, 1,427,867, including 86,386 fatalities. (ANI)