President Donald Trump accused the Food and Drug Administration of carrying out a “political hit job” against him by releasing new standards that could delay authorization of a coronavirus vaccine until after the November election.
“New FDA Rules make it more difficult for them to speed up vaccines for approval before Election Day. Just another political hit job!” the president wrote in a tweet that tagged his hand-picked FDA commissioner, Stephen Hahn.
Trump, who is battling a coronavirus infection himself, commented hours after the FDA issued strict new requirements for Covid-19 vaccine applications, including a review by a panel of experts and two months of safety data. The guidelines are intended to reassure the American public any vaccine is safe and effective, amid accusations that the Trump administration’s response to the virus has been tainted by politics.
The FDA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump, whose reelection may hinge on how the public views his COVID-19 response, has repeatedly suggested a vaccine could be ready by Election Day on Nov. 3 or even sooner, a faster timeline than laid out by public-health experts and drug manufacturers.
The president first criticized the FDA’s plan to issue tough standards for vaccine authorization late last month, calling the proposed rules a “political move.”
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