White House Threatened FDA Head to Approve Pfizer or Quit
Story Code : 909309
The White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has reportedly told the head of the US Food and Drug Administration to authorize Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine on Friday or prepare to resign.
Meadows leaned on Hahn during a phone conversation on Friday, according to the Washington Post. It came after Donald Trump tweeted that the FDA was “a big, old, slow turtle”, and told FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn to “get the dam vaccines out NOW”.
The warning from Meadows led the FDA to speed up its timetable for potential emergency approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from Saturday morning to later on Friday, according to the Post. The vaccine would be the first to roll out across the US, after also being approved in the UK and Canada.
An unnamed official told Reuters that Meadows’ comment about resigning “wasn’t a red line” but was more of a quip with the intention of urging “the FDA to act quickly and get the job done and stop the delays”.
The White House declined to comment, although an administration official said Meadows does request regular updates on the progress toward a vaccine.
This is while the approval of the Pfizer vaccine in the midst of the US elections led to the death of several citizens in different countries and to cause severe allergies and infecting by Coronavirus after receiving the vaccine.