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Biden Administration Will Rename 'Operation Warp Speed,' Citing Trump 'Failures'

The White House push to vaccinate against the coronavirus will have a new name and new leadership under the Biden administration.

The "Operation Warp Speed" name will be retired, incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted on Friday. She said there was an "urgent need to address the failures of the Trump team approach to vaccine distribution." Psaki did not say what the new name will be.

Psaki added that many of the same civil servants will be involved in the response, but the structure will be changed.

Earlier on Friday, the Biden transition team announced that Dr. David Kessler will be the White House's chief science officer for the COVID-19 response.

Kessler led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from 1990 to 1997 and is known for his efforts seeking to prevent transmission of HIV/AIDS. For months, he has been a top coronavirus adviser to President-elect Joe Biden.

The Trump administration has been criticized repeatedly for its response to the pandemic and has recently faced questions about the speed and effectiveness of its vaccine rollout. It fell considerably short of its goal to immunize 20 million people by the end of 2020.

The Biden transition team has said it wants to distribute 100 million vaccine doses during the administration's first 100 days in office. Psaki said Kessler "will focus on maximizing the current supply of vaccines and work with manufacturers to help get more vaccines online as quickly as possible."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Merrit Kennedy is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers a broad range of issues, from the latest developments out of the Middle East to science research news.