Trump’s ex-vaccine chief quits companies after sexual harassment allegation

Head of Trump's Operation Warp Speed let go from three companies after complaint of past inappropriate behavior surfaces.

Dan Verbin ,

President Trump
President Trump

Former President Donald Trump’s COVID vaccine chief Moncef Slaoui is stepping down from positions with two additional companies a day after Galvani Bioelectronics fired him due to a sexual harassment allegation.

On Thursday, Centessa Pharmaceuticals and vaccine company Vaxcyte both announced that Slaoui had resigned from his positions.

Slaoui, who was in charge of Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s public-private partnership plan to develop and roll-out coronavirus vaccines, was removed from his job at Galvani after a woman sent parent company GlaxoSmithKline a letter alleging that Slaoui sexually harassed her when she was an employee several years ago. GlaxoSmithKline stated that it hired an outside law firm which “substantiated” her allegations, reported CNBC.

The 61-year old Slaoui had been with the pharmaceutical company for 30 years during which he worked on vaccine development.

“The Centessa management team and board of directors were troubled to learn of yesterday’s news regarding Dr. Slaoui,” Saurabh Saha, Centessa CEO, said in a statement. “Centessa is absolutely committed to fostering a culture of respect that is free from harassment and discrimination of any kind and are steadfastly committed to maintaining a work environment that is reflective of our strong values as a company.”

On Wednesday, Slaoui offered an apology after the allegation surfaced. He said he was “deeply sorry” and would take a leave of absence, according to media reports.

“I would also like to apologize to my wife and family for the pain this is causing,” said Slaoui in a statement. “I will work hard to redeem myself with all those that this situation has impacted.”