White House Tells FDA Chief to Authorize Coronavirus Vaccine or Resign for Reasons That Make No Sense

Illustration for article titled White House Tells FDA Chief to Authorize Coronavirus Vaccine or Resign for Reasons That Make No Sense
Photo: Yalcin Sonat (Shutterstock)

Apparently, the White House chief of staff told the head of the Food and Drug Administration to grant authorization to a coronavirus vaccine by Friday or submit his resignation.

I guess they think speeding up the process is totally the move that will build up public trust in the vaccine’s safety.

The thing is, according to the Washington Post, sources close to the matter have said that speeding up authorization won’t speed up the process of getting it to the American people. Still, that simple fact didn’t stop White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows from telling the FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn to either get with it or get packing.

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It should come as no surprise that the request came after President Trump went on what must be the 1,420 Twitter rant of his presidency, calling the FDA “a big, old, slow turtle” when it comes to vaccines and telling Hahn to “get the dam vaccines out NOW.”

So ol’ boy can use selective caps but he can’t add an “n” to the end of damn, good to know.

Further intensifying the fuckery is the fact that the FDA was already on track to approve the vaccine by Saturday morning. While other countries such as Britain and Canada have already approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the FDA chose to utilize a more rigorous course of testing in an effort to build public trust in the vaccine’s safety. This is kind of important considering that there isn’t exactly widespread trust in the vaccine.

An agency advisory committee had already endorsed the vaccine on Thursday and the FDA issued a statement Friday morning saying that they had informed Pfizer they would “rapidly work toward finalization and issuance of an emergency use authorization.” The FDA was in the process of filing the paperwork to grant that authorization, a process that is now having to be sped up because of an old man having a temper tantrum.

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For his part, Hahn has disputed the characterization of the call. “This is an untrue representation of the phone call with the Chief of Staff,” Hahn said in a statement. “The FDA was encouraged to continue working expeditiously on Pfizer-BioNTech’s EUA request. FDA is committed to issuing this authorization quickly, as we noted in our statement this morning.”

A White House official familiar with the matter told CNN that it is unlikely that Hahn would actually have been fired and that the call was simply representative of the president’s frustration with the matter.

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I mean, if the man was really frustrated by the situation he would’ve encouraged mask wearing, social distancing, wouldn’t undermine science at every turn, and would have worked to get at least a second round of stimulus checks to Americans.

Oh! And he would’ve bought more of the damn vaccine he’s so anxious to get approved!

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This ain’t frustration at the virus, b. This is just an old racist having a bitch fit.

The stylin', profilin', limousine riding, jet flying, wheelin' and dealin' nerd of The Root.

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DISCUSSION

Dr Emilio Lizardo

Mark Meadows is emblematic of the entire administration. He's a pud with no idea what he is doing or how things actually work but he thinks he's brilliant.