Mr Slaoui said: “I hope nothing interferes with [Operation Warp Speed]. It is a matter of life and death for thousands of people. The operation has always been about making vaccines and therapeutics available faster for the country and for the world.”

Asked whether that meant allowing the project to make contact with Mr Biden’s team, he replied: “I would assume, yes.”

However, Mr Slaoui noted that he could not reach out to the Biden team without a green light from the White House. “It’s not for us to decide, frankly,” he said.

He added: “We’re focused on our objective and we continue the objective. We will deliver the objective, whichever administration asks us to deliver it.”