White House Threatens Hahn’s Job Over Vaccine Approval

FILE - In this Sept. 23, 2020 file photo, Dr. Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, testifies during a Senate Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Hearing on the federal government response to COVID-19 on Capitol Hill in Washington. Hahn said Thursday’s meeting on Dec. 10 of the vaccine advisory panel is “an important day for all of America." He hopes it will lead to the beginning of the end of the coronavirus pandemic. (Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP, File)

WASHINGTON  — White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Friday pressed Food and Drug Administration chief Stephen Hahn to grant an emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine by the end of the day or face possible firing, two administration officials said.

The vaccine produced by Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech won a critical endorsement Thursday from an FDA panel of outside advisers, and signoff from the agency — which is expected within days — is the next step needed to get the shots to the public.

The FDA is not required to follow the guidance of its advisory committees, but often does.

Meadows spoke to Hahn by telephone on Friday, according to a senior administration official who was familiar with the conversation but was not authorized to discuss private conversations.

The chief of staff also told Hahn his job was in jeopardy if the emergency use authorization was not issued before Saturday, said a second administration official familiar with the conversation.

Hahn signaled that he would tell regulators to allow the vaccine to be issued on an emergency basis, the official said.

President Donald Trump has been pressing for quick approval for the vaccine and tweeted directly at Hahn earlier Friday, complaining that FDA “is still a big, old, slow turtle.” Trump has publicly bashed the pace of the FDA’s vaccine review process.

“Get the dam vaccines out NOW, Dr. Hahn,” Trump tweeted Friday. “Stop playing games and start saving lives.”

Hahn disputed characterizations of his conversation with Meadows.

“This is an untrue representation of the phone call with the Chief of Staff,” Hahn said in a statement. “The FDA was encouraged to continue working expeditiously on Pfizer-BioNTech’s EUA request. FDA is committed to issuing this authorization quickly, as we noted in our statement this morning.”

The FDA said earlier Friday that it “will rapidly work” to grant emergency use of the vaccine.

By JONATHAN LEMIRE - Dec 11. 2020 - 3:13 PM ET

AP

 
 

News Sources

  • ABC
  • Access Hollywood
  • Associated Press
  • BBC
  • Bloomberg
  • Boston Globe
  • C-SPAN
  • CBS
  • Chicago Sun-Times
  • Christian Science Monitor
  • Center for Public Integrity
  • CNN
  • Congressional Quarterly
  • Democracy Now!
  • Digg
  • E! Online
  • Entertainment Weekly
  • Financial Times
  • Forbes
  • Foreign Policy
  • Fortune
  • Front Street Magazine

  • U.S. News, World News
  • Business, Politics
  • Entertainment, Sports
  • Art, Lifestyle
  • Videos And More
  • News Sources

  • Fox News
  • Google News
  • Guardian
  • Huffington Post
  • Independent
  • LA Weekly
  • Los Angeles Times
  • McClatchy
  • Mother Jones
  • National Journal
  • NBC New
  • New York Post
  • New York Times
  • Newsweek
  • Newsy
  • NPR
  • PBS NewsHour
  • People
  • Politico
  • Reuters
  • TPM
  • Washington Post
  • Thanks For Your Support!

     

    Copyright © 2021 Front Street. All Rights Reserved.

    Skip to toolbar