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Trump to visit North Carolina, cite work on COVID-19 vaccine

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at the White House, Thursday, July 23, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at the White House, Thursday, July 23, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

WASHINGTON – The White House says President Donald Trump will visit North Carolina on Monday to tour a business that is participating in work on a COVID-19 vaccine.

The White House said Trump is expected to speak about the collaboration between the administration and the private sector to rapidly develop a vaccine and ensure rapid distribution once ready.

North Carolina is a key battleground state in the coming election, and Trump’s visit marks his 10th trip to the state during his presidency. Trump is seeking to highlight progress on a vaccine and therapeutics as the country struggles to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The biotechnology facility Trump will visit is the FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies’ Innovation Center in Morrisville, a suburb of Raleigh. The White House said the company is manufacturing key components of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate being developed by Novavax, an American vaccine development company based in Maryland.

Novavax has been chosen to participate in Operation Warp Speed, a U.S. government program that seeks to begin delivering millions of doses of a safe, effective vaccine for COVID-19 next year. The company has been awarded $1.6 billion from the federal government.