Last week: Trump suggests he will fire Fauci “a little bit after the election”

Late October: Sec. Azar threatens to fire FDA Commissioner  

Washington, DC – Today, Accountable Pharma released the following statement calling on President Trump, Secretary Azar, and other political appointees in the Administration to back down from their pre-election threats to fire key scientists and public health officials. This comes after President Trump accused the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of delaying approval of a vaccine to not allow him to “get a Vaccine WIN, prior to the election.” President Trump had previously accused the FDA of being controlled by the “deep state” that was attempting to sabotage his election prospects, claimed that the FDA’s updated vaccine guidance was a “political hit job,” and attacked Dr. Fauci and suggested to a crowd of supporters that he would fire him “a little bit after the election.” 

“President Trump is clearly angry that Dr. Fauci and other public health experts contradicted his politically-motivated claims about COVID-19, but it would be deeply damaging and absolutely wrong if he or his political appointees were to try to fire or further sideline these critical government scientists now to take revenge on them for their honesty or to sabotage President-elect Biden’s transition work,” said Eli Zupnick, spokesman for Accountable Pharma. “People across the country are desperate for this crisis to end and are going to be watching carefully to make sure that President Trump doesn’t make the crisis even worse than he already has as he heads out the door.”

Earlier this month Dr. Fauci was quoted in the Washington Post saying that the country “could not possibly be positioned more poorly” headed into the winter and that the country needed to make an “abrupt change” to stave off disaster. According to recent polling, Dr. Fauci’s guidance is the most trusted by the public when it comes to encouraging Americans to get vaccinated. 

In late October, it was reported that an “angry” Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar threatened to fire Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn over Hahn’s recent efforts to protect FDA scientists and ensure that science and public health is prioritized over President Trump’s political interests in the vaccine development process. 

A timeline of political pressure on health officials

  • November 1: President Trump intimated that he planned to fire the government’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, “a little bit after the election” after Dr. Fauci was quoted in the Washington Post saying that the country “could not possibly be positioned more poorly” headed into the winter and that the country needed to make an “abrupt change” to stave off disaster.
     
  • October 21: Reports came out that that an “angry” Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is threatening to FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn over Hahn’s recent efforts to protect FDA scientists and ensure that science and public health is prioritized over President Trump’s political interests in the vaccine development process.
     
  • October 13: President Trump took another swipe at his government’s top infectious diseases specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci, saying “Tony’s pitching arm is far more accurate than his prognostications.”
     
  • October 13: President Trump took another swipe at his government’s top infectious diseases specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci, saying “Tony’s pitching arm is far more accurate than his prognostications.”
     
  • October 7: President Trump released a video that, among other claims, hypes experimental drugs that he personally used and that he claims he will pressure the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve. Trump once again contradicted members of his own Administration and claimed that the fact that a vaccine isn’t available “before Election Day” is “political.”
     
  • October 6:  “White House Agrees to FDA’s Guidelines for Vetting Covid-19 Vaccines”…Trump calls it “political hit job.”
     
  • October 5: Reports emerge that the White House, in consultation with the drug industry, has overruled the FDA and plans to block the new guidance.
     
  • September 28: White House objections may prevent FDA from releasing stricter guidelines drawn up for the emergency authorization of coronavirus vaccines.
     
  • September 21: President Trump once again claimed that a vaccine will be approved “within a matter of weeks” and that it will be available to the public “long before the end of the year, maybe…maybe by the end of October,” contradicting  his top public health officials.
     
  • September 16: President Trump publicly scolded the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield following his testimony to Congress that mask use was critical in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and that a vaccine would likely not be available to the American public until “late second quarter, third quarter 2021.”
     
  • August 30: WaPo: “Inside Trump’s pressure campaign on federal scientists over a covid-19 treatment”
     
  • August 25: NPR: “FDA’s Hahn Apologizes For Overselling Plasma’s Benefits As A COVID-19 Treatment”
     
  • August 24: “Trump’s FDA Intimidation Campaign Pays Off With Politically-Convenient Announcement; Further Undermines Trust in Vaccine, Treatment Approval Process”
     
  • August 22: Trump dials up the pressure with another tweet “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!”
     
  • August 19: Trump insinuates that FDA is trying to hurt him politically through delay: “It could be a political decision because you have a lot of people over there who don’t want to rush things because they want to do it after November 3”
     
  • August 18: “Trump Dials Up Pressure for Pre-Election Vaccine, Wonders if “Deep State” Will Delay Vaccine Announcement Until November 4th”
     
  • August 17: “Trump Pushes Another COVID-19 “Miracle Cure” Hawked By His MyPillow Buddy, Housing Secretary; Watchdog Urges FDA to Stand Up to Pressure”
     
  • August 6: “Watchdog Group to FDA: Patients Need More Than Words On Vaccine Safety Assurance; Supports Health Expert Calls for Additional Transparency”
     
  • July 15: “NEW REPORT – Operation Warp Speed at Two Months: $4 Billion for Drug Companies, Zero Assurances for Patients and Taxpayers”
     
  • June 25: “New Vaccine Report Highlights Trump Administration’s Drug Company Connections, Need for Vaccine Program Transparency”
     
  • June 24: “As Dr. Fauci Expresses Hope for Vaccine By End of Year, Patients Need Assurances That Trump Pressure Won’t Corrupt Development Process”
     
  • June 8: “Watchdog Calls for Independent Patient Advocate to Audit ‘Operation Warp Speed’”
     
  • May 26: “Lack of Transparency, Conflicts of Interest Surround Trump’s “Operation Warp Speed” Vaccine Development Program”

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