Trump Puts The Squeeze On Science At The FDA

September 4, 2020

September 1, 2020

Those of us intrepid enough to still follow the news probably already know that a recent reversal by the FDA in the face of pressure from Donald Trump has experts alarmed that the agency’s reliability and political independence is in jeopardy. I don’t have to tell you how bad that is, but I will anyway: it is very bad. Stopping this pandemic requires the cooperation of millions of Americans and many entities throughout our society. Without reliable national leadership, that job becomes much harder, and more people will suffer as a result.

On August 22, Trump tweeted an accusation that the FDA was slow-walking approval for COVID-19 treatments to harm his electoral prospects. The following evening, standing alongside FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn and Health Secretary Alex Azar, Trump announced an Emergency Use Authorization for a risky, unproven blood plasma treatment, touting the treatment as a major medical breakthrough. In the same period, experts have issued dire warnings about seemingly political decisions at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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