FDA disputes Trump on deep state conspiracy against vaccine
US president Donald Trump appeared to suggest this month that Americans would see a potential coronavirus pandemic around the time of November’s election – now less than 10 weeks away.
On Saturday, he tweeted without evidence that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was working to stop production of a vaccine on that same timetable.
But in an interview with Reuters on Monday, FDA head Dr. Stephen Hahn said his agency did not harbour any so-called “deep state” elements, in comments that hit back at the president’s claims.
“I have not seen anything that I would consider to be ‘deep state’ at the FDA,” Dr. Hahn said.
Mr Trump’s tweet, which tagged the FDA commissioner, said: “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.”
It isn’t the first time president Trump has falsely claimed that a “deep state” – referring to government employees – was trying to undermine his presidency.
The public dispute over those comments came as the FDA on Monday authorised blood plasma treatment for the coronavirus.
Dr. Hahn defended that decision, and denied the agency was under political pressure to find a cure for the disease before 3 November.