President Donald Trump at a Sunday evening news conference is expected to announce an emergency authorization for the use of coronavirus plasma in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, literally days after the FDA blocked its use citing weak results in studies.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany hinted at the announcement Saturday:
News conference with President @realDonaldTrump at 6 pm tomorrow concerning a major therapeutic breakthrough on the China Virus. Secretary Azar and Dr. Hahn will be in attendance.
— Kayleigh McEnany (@PressSec) August 23, 2020
The news comes just one day before Trump kicks off the RNC convention, at which – in an unprecedented move – he will appear each of the four nights.
The announcement is raising concerns, as some see even further politicization of not only the virus itself, but the wheels of government. The FDA was once seen as a non-partisan regulatory agency charged with keeping Americans safe from snake oil salesmen and quack medical practitioners.
Minutes ago, noted public health law attorney and professor Lawrence Gostin accused President Trump of “undermining” the FDA.
Trump’s undermining @US_FDA, pressuring to short cut science/ethics. Chief of Staff says “had to make sure FDA felt the heat” Historically presidents respect FDA integrity. It’s our safeguard for a safe & effective #Covid vaccine. @WhiteHouse will erode public trust in vaccines. https://t.co/C8QdikJ1XN
— Lawrence Gostin (@LawrenceGostin) August 23, 2020
“Last week, just as the Food and Drug Administration was preparing to issue an emergency authorization for blood plasma as a Covid-19 treatment, a group of top federal health officials including Dr. Francis S. Collins and Dr. Anthony S. Fauci intervened, arguing that emerging data on the treatment was too weak, according to two senior administration officials,” The New York Times reported Wednesday.
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.
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