President Donald Trump said Monday he’s asked pharmaceutical companies to speed up work on a coronavirus vaccine, as he met with drug-company executives.
The president, joined by Vice President Mike Pence and members of the administration’s coronavirus task force, met with the executives at the White House Monday afternoon. The chief executives of companies including GlaxoSmithKline GSK, +4.98%, Inovio Pharmaceuticals INO, +2.57% and Moderna Inc. MRNA, +15.23% were scheduled to attend, the White House said.
“We’ve asked them to accelerate” work, Trump told reporters before the meeting, as he hosted Colombian President Ivan Duque at the White House.
The U.S., which has reported multiple instances of transmission of the illness, now has a total of 91 cases and at least two deaths from COVID-19, a novel coronavirus that was first detected in China in December.
U.S. stocks DJIA, +5.09% gained nearly 1,300 points Monday after notching their worst week since 2008. Markets surged on growing hope that global central banks and major developed economies will act to help counteract the potential harm from the virus. The Invesco Dynamic Pharmaceuticals ETF PJP, +3.86% rose along with the broader market SPX, +4.60% ahead of the White House meeting.