George Stephanopoulos Grills Mark Meadows on Trump, FDA

George Stephanopoulos confronted White House chief of staff Mark Meadows Sunday over President Donald Trump’s tweet attacking his own FDA over the weekend.

On Saturday, the president went after the FDA after reports that the agency put its emergency approval of plasma as a treatment on hold. Per the New York Times, several health officials — including Dr. Anthony Fauci and NIH director Dr. Francis Collins — said the data was “too weak.”

Trump claimed the “deep state, or whoever” at the FDA is “hoping to delay the answer” until after the election, and once again touted hydroxychloroquine:

Stephanopoulos asked Meadows Sunday, “What evidence does the president have that the FDA is manipulating this approval process for political reasons?”

Meadows started out by objecting to Stephanopoulos’ question before saying “we’ve got to deliver answers and the president each and everyday is saying why don’t we have an answer today, why don’t we have an answer tomorrow.”

“And so what happens is is that we continue to look at some of the trials and what’s happening and we want to wear a belt and suspenders the way that some of these bureaucrats want to look at it. They want to do things the way they’ve always done it. This president is about cutting red tape. That’s what the tweet was all about,” he said.

Meadows previewed the president’s press conference coming later today, in which he’s expected to announce the emergency authorization of convalescent plasma as a treatment for people with the coronavirus.

Stephanopoulos pressed Meadows on Trump accusing the FDA of playing politics and asked why the president wouldn’t fire the head of the FDA if he really believs that.

“I can tell you that we’ve looked at a number of people that are not being as diligent as they should be in terms of getting to the bottom of it,” Meadows said. “We’ve actually had people that have been relocated.”

“So he does believe there are those in the FDA who are trying to delay approvals for political purposes, until after the elections,” Stephanopoulos said.

“I believe there are a number of people that do not see the same sense of urgency as he sees. And that as we start to look at it, they know that some kind of result today is good for the American people. And he just wants to make sure that they feel the same urgency,” Meadows responded.

You can watch above, via ABC.

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Originally published: 2020-08-23 19:50:14

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