President Trump hit the Food and Drug Administration again in a tweet on Friday morning, attacking the agency’s commissioner Dr. Stephen M. Hahn, in particular because he had not approved a Covid-19 vaccine any faster.
Mr Trump continued his practice of publicly berating subordinates he was dissatisfied with, and urged Dr. Tap on, “stop playing games and save lives !!!” He called the F.D.A. “A big, old, slow turtle”, full of money but full of red tape.
The F.D.A. has walked a thin line in trying to speed up vaccine approval without undermining public confidence in the process. Dr. Hahn has repeatedly stated that regulators will not approve a vaccine that has not been shown to be safe and effective.
The president’s tirade came the morning after an external panel of experts overwhelmingly voted in favor of F.D.A. Regulatory authorities approve an emergency vaccine developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.
It is expected that regulators will approve it on Friday and in one Statement on Friday The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and those involved in Operation Warp Speed have been cautioned “so that they can implement their plans for timely distribution of the vaccines.”
Mr Trump has said little about the pandemic in recent weeks as cases and deaths have increased across the country. According to a Times database, 2,923 people died from the virus in the United States on Thursday. More than 3,000 deaths were reported on Wednesday.
The President has repeatedly issued the F.D.A. and the vaccine manufacturers themselves to deliberately slow down the approval process in order to cause political harm. The allies of Dr. Hahn have been on the bend for weeks and expect to be fired every day.
The president wrote that with “my urging” the government had cut vaccine development by years. “Get the dam vaccines out NOW, Dr. Hahn,” he wrote, mistyping the phrase.
A minute after the President’s tweet was posted, Minister of Health and Human Services Alex M. Azar posted a “BREAKING” message on his official Twitter account that read “FDA had informed Pfizer it was” RAPID “on heading for approval of his vaccine. He was repeat a statement by Dr. Hahn and Dr. Peter Marks, the agency’s leading vaccines agency, was released ahead of the president’s tweet.
Eileen Sullivan Contribution to reporting.