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May 15, 2020, 2:23 p.m. EDT

Trump presses for coronavirus vaccine by end of year

President says he’s confident in Abbott test under FDA scrutiny

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By Robert Schroeder, MarketWatch

Getty Images
President Donald Trump delivers remarks about coronavirus vaccine development in the Rose Garden of the White House on May 15, 2020.

President Donald Trump said Friday he wants to have a coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year, as he named two leaders of a new development effort.

At a White House ceremony, Trump announced that former GlaxoSmithKline /zigman2/quotes/209463850/composite GSK +0.60%   executive Moncef Slaoui and Army Gen. Gustave Perna would head “Operation Warp Speed.”

Trump’s timeline for a vaccine is faster than predicted by health officials. Dr. Anthony Fauci, for example, has said developing one could take at least a year and potentially longer.

Trump said Operation Warp Speed’s goal is to finish developing, and then make and distribute, a proven vaccine.

“We’d love to see if we could do it prior to the end of the year,” the president said.

Trump was asked at the event if he had concerns about Abbott Laboratories’ /zigman2/quotes/203724446/composite ABT -0.33%   rapid COVID-19 test, which is used at locations including the White House. The Food and Drug Administration said late Thursday it is investigating preliminary data suggesting the test can miss COVID-19 cases. The company has stood by its test.

Trump called the test “great.”

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Robert Schroeder is the White House reporter for MarketWatch. Follow him on Twitter @mktwrobs.

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