FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn would not answer when asked about his communications with the White House but denied political pressure on the COVID vaccine.
FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn tap dances around the political interference of the Trump administration on the COVID vaccine while refusing to discuss his conversations with the White House. pic.twitter.com/igI1vAJBgO
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) December 13, 2020
Hahn was asked multiple times by CNN’s Jake Tapper about the White House applying political pressure to get the vaccine out, but when asked about his conversation with the White House the FDA commissioner said, ” I’m not going to give specifics about the conversation. What I can say is we have heard from a number of sources, including the white house, that there was a desire for us to move as quickly as possible and, Jake, we have, but our absolute obligation to the American people was to make sure we did a thorough scientific review. We needed to ensure our gold standard of testing the efficacy of the vaccine was done and done properly and we had to get this right and I believe we did.”
If the conversation was above board and there was no political pressure, Hahn could describe the conversation in general terms and move on, but his refusal to say anything about the conversation suggests that there is something that the public should not know.
The political pressure on this vaccine has been daily, public, and obvious. It has come from Trump, his staff, and the President’s Twitter account.
The inability to tell the truth is why people don’t trust the vaccine and something that the Biden administration will need to reverse to put an end to the pandemic.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association