FDA's vaccine head quits Operation Warp Speed days after joining

Peter Marks MD, PhD, quit Operation Warp Speed, the White House's task force to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, just days after joining the program in May, according to Politico.

Dr. Marks is a cancer specialist who has spent almost a decade at the FDA, most recently leading its effort to approve vaccines and gene therapies. He has returned to his position at the agency after a disagreement with White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx, MD, on how to go about vaccine candidate prioritization, eyewitnesses told Politico.

Dr. Marks told colleagues he was leaving the position because he did not want to feel like he was a part of a political team and thought his talents would be put to better use at his FDA position, sources told Politico. A memo told FDA staff that Dr. Marks was returning because the White House had gathered enough other experts to perform his role.

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