Pres. Trump to visit Morrisville facility next week to check on COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing progress

MORRISVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- President Donald Trump will be visiting Wake County next week.

On Monday, Trump will visit the FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies' Innovation Center in Morrisville. During the visit, Trump will tour facilities used to support the manufacturing of "key components of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate" developed by Novavax.

After the tour, White House officials say Trump will discuss the collaboration between his administration and the private sector to accelerate the development of a COVID-19 vaccine suitable for human use.

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"FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies develops processes that are designed to rapidly lead to efficient, robust and high quality bio manufacturing," White House officials stated. "FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies is manufacturing bulk drug substance for NVX-CoV2373, Novavax' COVID-19 vaccine candidate, which is currently in a Phase 1 clinical trial, and is expected to progress into Phase 2 in mid-August and Phase 3 in the fall."

FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, the Bioprocess Innovation Center first opened in the Research Triangle Park in 2016.

Martin Meeson, the CEO of the manufacturing company, says the North Carolina facility employs 500 workers with 2,500 employees worldwide.

"We're just extremely thrilled and proud that they selected us. The team is working extremely hard here: they did a fantastic job in getting that program going at a rapid pace," Meeson told ABC11. "We're obviously excited to host the president and take him what we do here and help him see what's going on in the manufacture of a vaccine like this."


The North Carolina Democratic Party released the following statement about Trump's planned visit Thursday evening:
"That Donald Trump will visit North Carolina just after the state surpassed 100,000 coronavirus cases is a fitting visualization of his failure to contain this pandemic. Small businesses across the state have shuttered and hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians remain out of work because of the Trump administration's mismanagement of the crisis, and no photo op can change those facts. The Trump legacy will be one of sheer incompetence, and in just over 100 days, voters here will reject it."
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