President Donald Trump’s administration is starting a project expected to muster all the resources of the federal government in speeding up development of a coronavirus vaccine, Bloomberg News reports. Dubbed “Operation Warp Speed,” the vast vaccination trial would convene private biotech and pharmaceutical companies, government health agencies, and military research departments. The administration aims to discover a preventative drug by the end of 2020 and make 300 million doses available by January, a drastically shortened timetable compared to the years usually required for drug development to ensure safety. The feasibility of Trump’s wish is unclear: Some public-health experts like Anthony Fauci have said vaccine development will last at least into late 2021, but some pharmaceutical companies have projected they will have a drug available for emergency use by fall. Some existing drugs have also shown promise. Whether Operation Warp Speed succeeds or fails, it will likely cost billions of taxpayer dollars, according to Bloomberg.
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