Military personnel make up lion’s share of Operation Warp Speed leaders

About two-thirds of Operation Warp Speed’s leaders are military personnel employed by the U.S. Department of Defense, according to an organization chart of the program’s leaders recently obtained by STAT.

The chart, dated July 30, shows Operation Warp Speed, the White House’s $10 billion task force to develop and distribute 300 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine by 2020, relies significantly on military involvement. Paul Mango, HHS’ deputy chief of staff for policy, told STAT the military has helped the effort set up manufacturing facilities, regulate its supply chain, and establish cybersecurity and other protections.

“There are quite honestly certain logistical elements of this that the CDC has never, ever been asked to do, and why not bring the best logisticians in the world into the equation?” Mr. Mango told STAT.

Only 29 of the roughly 90 leaders featured in the chart STAT obtained were not employed by the Department of Defense. Mr. Mango told STAT most of the scientists involved in Operation Warp Speed work for the drugmakers the effort is funding, so they wouldn’t appear in the chart.

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