Navarro Told FDA Officials to Stop Working for the ‘Deep State’

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Peter Navarro Alex Wong/Getty Images

Alex Wong/Getty Images

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro reportedly accused employees at the Food and Drug Administration of being part of the “deep state” for slow-walking potential vaccines for the coronavirus.

“You are all deep state, and you need to get on Trump time,” Navarro told staff at an August 17 meeting ostensibly focused on the Strategic National Stockpile and Covid-19, according to Axios.

President Donald Trump reiterated the message on Saturday, writing on Twitter, “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!”

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn has been insistent that any potential treatment would undergo thorough review by the agency before receiving approval. “Since we at the FDA are the final arbiters of whether a particular vaccine is safe and effective, I cannot make any predictions about timing of an emergency use or final approval of a covid-19 vaccine,” Hahn wrote in an August 5 op-ed for the Washington Post. “But I can attest that every FDA resource has been, and will continue to be, at the ready to facilitate clinical testing programs, and to review clinical data and manufacturing facilities. I can further provide assurances that any vaccine authorized for widespread use will meet the appropriate standards for quality, safety and efficacy.”

Trump on Sunday announced the FDA was issuing an emergency authorization to use convalescent plasma as a treatment for the coronavirus. That treatment uses plasma from patients who have already had the coronavirus, meaning it cannot be manufactured as a vaccine. More than 70,000 patients have used the treatment to date, with some experiencing improvements in their condition as a result.

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Originally published: 2020-08-24 13:31:40

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