The president made the announcement at a Rose Garden press conference that the Trump administration is looking to develop the vaccine by the end of the year or maybe earlier, with the cooperation of public-private partnership.
The president was joined by his chief of staff Mark Meadows, senior advisor Jared Kushner, coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci--both of whom wore face masks during the event, and he made a statement, "Another essential pillar of our strategy to keep America open is the development of effective treatments and vaccines as quickly as possible. Want to see if we can do that very quickly."
"We're looking to - when I say "quickly," we're looking to get it by the end of the year, if we can. Maybe before. We're doing tremendously well."
Trump said they have been preparing for the worst even before the outbreak. The vaccine development has been proceeding from January 11 by scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), just within a hours after genetic code was shared online.
"Most people never even heard what was going on January 11. And we were out there trying to develop a vaccine, not even knowing what we were up against," said trump.
NIH and Health and Human Services (HHS) have been continuously working with private industry, testing more than 100 potential treatments.
Trump announced a new public-private partnership to develop a vaccine for the COVID-19 is called "Operation Warp Speed."
"That means big and it means fast," Trump said of the efforts. "Its objective is to finish developing and then to manufacture and distribute a proven coronavirus vaccine...prior to the end of the year. I think we're going to have some very good results coming out very quickly."
Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who also joined the press conference and said, "we will deliver on time. We will deliver, we will win this fight...thank you Mr. President, we will get the job done."
The development of the vaccine will be led by Moncef Slaoui, the former head of GlaxoSmithKline's vaccines division, and Army Gen. Gustave Perna. Slaoui will oversee the vaccine development at Operation Warp Speed, while Serna will serve as the chief operating officer managing logistics.
The president announced Slauoi and Perna, calling them "two of the most highly-respected and skilled" officials.
Slaoui, a highly-respected vaccine developer, who is leading the effort, said he is "very confident" that they will "be able and do the utmost to deliver these objectives."
"I have very recently seen early data with a clinical trial for a coronavirus vaccine and this data made me even more confident that we will be able to deliver a vaccine by the end of 2020," he said. "We will do the best we can to do that."
Perna added that they are undertaking a "Herculean task," but that the "combined strengths" of all involved in the effort "will ensure our success." "We will defeat the enemy," Perna said. "Why? Because winning matters."
The president said Saturday "will mark 30 days since we released the White House guidelines for a safe and phased opening of America."
"We're going to have an amazing year next year and a great transition into the fourth quarter," said Trump.