PUBLIC HEALTH: FDA’s Dr. Peter Marks: We are “In the middle of a global pandemic”…“Trust means everything…This process will not be rushed.”

POLITICS: “White House science office takes credit for ‘ending’ pandemic”

NEW: “Health officials and scientists…‘personally offended’ by the White House’s announcement”

Washington, DC – Today, Accountable Pharma released the following statement on the latest lies and misinformation coming from Trump Administration political appointees as well as the continued important work by career public health officials to fight back against their political bosses. 

On Tuesday, the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy released a report on President Trump’s accomplishments, and in the accompanying press release, included “Ending the COVID-19 pandemic” as being among them. That evening, President Trump tweeted that COVID-19 is “fake news” and that we are “rounding the turn” on the crisis. 

As President Trump and his political appointees were playing politics with the crisis, Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, wrote an op-ed laying out how the career scientists and public health officials are approaching the vaccine approval process in a commendable attempt to restore the public trust that President Trump has done so much to erode. 

“Career scientists and public health officials are working hard to restore public trust in the vaccine development process, but President Trump and his political appointees just keep undermining them with new lies, misinformation, and politicization,” said Eli Zupnick, spokesman for Accountable Pharma. “Despite what President Trump is now desperately claiming, COVID isn’t ‘fake news,’ we aren’t ‘rounding the turn,’ and a vaccine will sadly not be available ‘momentarily’ or by ‘that special date. Sec. Azar has been threatening to fire FDA officials who don’t toe the party line, but we commend Dr. Marks for standing up to his political bosses and being open and transparent with the American people.”

A timeline of political pressure on health officials

  • October 21: Reports came out that that an “angry” Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is threatening to FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn over Hahn’s recent efforts to protect FDA scientists and ensure that science and public health is prioritized over President Trump’s political interests in the vaccine development process.
  • October 13: President Trump took another swipe at his government’s top infectious diseases specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci, saying “Tony’s pitching arm is far more accurate than his prognostications.”
  • October 13: President Trump took another swipe at his government’s top infectious diseases specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci, saying “Tony’s pitching arm is far more accurate than his prognostications.”
  • October 7: President Trump released a video that, among other claims, hypes experimental drugs that he personally used and that he claims he will pressure the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve. Trump once again contradicted members of his own Administration and claimed that the fact that a vaccine isn’t available “before Election Day” is “political.”
  • October 6:  “White House Agrees to FDA’s Guidelines for Vetting Covid-19 Vaccines”…Trump calls it “political hit job.”
  • October 5: Reports emerge that the White House, in consultation with the drug industry, has overruled the FDA and plans to block the new guidance.
  • September 28: White House objections may prevent FDA from releasing stricter guidelines drawn up for the emergency authorization of coronavirus vaccines.
  • September 21: President Trump once again claimed that a vaccine will be approved “within a matter of weeks” and that it will be available to the public “long before the end of the year, maybe…maybe by the end of October,” contradicting  his top public health officials.
  • September 16: President Trump publicly scolded the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield following his testimony to Congress that mask use was critical in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and that a vaccine would likely not be available to the American public until “late second quarter, third quarter 2021.”
  • August 30: WaPo: “Inside Trump’s pressure campaign on federal scientists over a covid-19 treatment”
  • August 25: NPR: “FDA’s Hahn Apologizes For Overselling Plasma’s Benefits As A COVID-19 Treatment”
  • August 24: “Trump’s FDA Intimidation Campaign Pays Off With Politically-Convenient Announcement; Further Undermines Trust in Vaccine, Treatment Approval Process”
  • August 22: Trump dials up the pressure with another tweet “The deep state, or whoever, over at the FDA is making it very difficult for drug companies to get people in order to test the vaccines and therapeutics. Obviously, they are hoping to delay the answer until after November 3rd. Must focus on speed, and saving lives!”
  • August 19: Trump insinuates that FDA is trying to hurt him politically through delay: “It could be a political decision because you have a lot of people over there who don’t want to rush things because they want to do it after November 3”
  • August 18: “Trump Dials Up Pressure for Pre-Election Vaccine, Wonders if “Deep State” Will Delay Vaccine Announcement Until November 4th”
  • August 17: “Trump Pushes Another COVID-19 “Miracle Cure” Hawked By His MyPillow Buddy, Housing Secretary; Watchdog Urges FDA to Stand Up to Pressure”
  • August 6: “Watchdog Group to FDA: Patients Need More Than Words On Vaccine Safety Assurance; Supports Health Expert Calls for Additional Transparency”
  • July 15: “NEW REPORT – Operation Warp Speed at Two Months: $4 Billion for Drug Companies, Zero Assurances for Patients and Taxpayers”
  • June 25: “New Vaccine Report Highlights Trump Administration’s Drug Company Connections, Need for Vaccine Program Transparency”
  • June 24: “As Dr. Fauci Expresses Hope for Vaccine By End of Year, Patients Need Assurances That Trump Pressure Won’t Corrupt Development Process”
  • June 8: “Watchdog Calls for Independent Patient Advocate to Audit ‘Operation Warp Speed’”
  • May 26: “Lack of Transparency, Conflicts of Interest Surround Trump’s “Operation Warp Speed” Vaccine Development Program”


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