Biden adviser calls for overhaul of Trump’s ‘Warp Speed’ vaccine effort

Biden adviser calls for overhaul of Trump’s ‘Warp Speed’ vaccine effort

Member of president-elect’s Covid-19 task force says focus should shift to testing

Donald Trump’s flagship vaccine programme Operation Warp Speed should be overhauled to focus on coronavirus testing when Joe Biden enters the White House, according to a member of the president-elect’s pandemic task force.

Céline Gounder, a member of Mr Biden’s advisory group, said Operation Warp Speed should spend more on improving the quality of testing, in what would amount to a shift in direction for the sprawling federally-funded effort that has paid billions of dollars to drug companies to develop vaccines.

“We need to be funding not just vaccines. I think another major area we need to be looking at is diagnostics,” Dr Gounder, an infectious diseases expert, said in an interview with the Financial Times.

Coronavirus testing is hampered by the fact that accurate tests do not produce instant results, while rapid diagnostics are less reliable. Public health experts say the holy grail is a test that is both fast and precise.