President Trump, who had paused his daily coronavirus briefings lately, took a break from his break this afternoon to announce “Operation Warp Speed,” an effort to fast-track the development of an effective vaccine for COVID-19.
“That means big and it means fast,” Trump said in the White House Rose Garden on Friday afternoon.
Moncef Slaoui, a former executive at GlaxoSmithKline, will lead the effort, along with General Gustave Perna of the U.S. Army. Trump told reporters a vaccine could be available in the “near future,” possibly by the end of the year, CBS News reported. Public health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have generally said that a vaccine would take at least a year to 18 months, and some have predicted we won’t see one for years.
The announcement comes as states begin to slowly reopen their economies, and as the administration shifts its focus away from the immediate public health crisis and toward getting Americans back to work. Weirdly, the news also came on the same day that CBS announced yet another Star Trek series for its All Access streaming service, an aptly titled series called Strange New Worlds.
Nothing against the milking of beloved sci-fi franchises for all they’re worth, but this is about all the Star Trek saturation we can stand for one day. Beam us out of here.