President Donald Trump recently appointed Moncef Slaoui, a former Moderna executive, to co-chair of the White House coronavirus vaccine project. The executive had $12.4 million worth of stock options in the pharmaceutical company. After pressure from Congressional critics, he announced that he will divest all the stock to avoid any conflict of interest in his new role.

Last week, Trump appointed him as head of Operation Warp Speed, a public-private partnership to facilitate the development, manufacturing and distribution of COVID-19 countermeasures.

As of Monday morning, Slaoui had still retained his equity holdings in Moderna, but Caitlin Oakley, an HHC spokeswoman, clarified that he would soon divest.

“Dr. Slaoui has resigned from his position as an independent member of the Board of Directors for Moderna,” she said. “Further, he has directed the divestiture of his equity holdings in Moderna and that sale should be effective tomorrow morning.”

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Oakley also added that Slaoui will be donating the profit he has acquired from his holdings to charity and will not be paid by the government to lead the project.

“Dr. Slaoui has committed to donate to cancer research all incremental value accrued from his Moderna shares between the evening of Thursday, May 14, prior to the announcement of his position on Operation Warp Speed and the time of sale, scheduled for tomorrow morning,” Oakley clarified.

Prior to the announcement of Slaoui’s divestiture, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) had spoken out against his owning shares in Moderna and how they might constitute a conflict of interest.

After Moderna announced its early vaccine’s promising results, the company’s stocks soared from $66.69 to $80 million in three days. Slaoui’s shares gained $3.4 million in value in a single day.

Slaoui himself spoke about the miraculous drug even before Moderna announced it. “I have very recently seen early data from a clinical trial with a coronavirus vaccine, and this data makes me feel even more confident that we will be able to deliver a few hundred million doses by the end of 2020,” he told Trump.

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