Trump’s politicizing and pressure has undermined confidence in Administration’s vaccine development process; it’s going to take more than drug company assurances to restore it

Accountable Pharma calls for drug companies to make “clear and strong” commitment to transparency, independent verification of safety and efficacy claims

Washington, DC – Today, Accountable Pharma released the following statement in response to today’s statement from nine drug industry CEOs committing to “stand with science” and “continue to make the safety and well-being of vaccinated individuals the top priority in development of the first COVID-19 vaccines,” which is reported to be a response to concerns about the Trump Administration’s politicization, misinformation, and pressure undermining the public’s trust in any vaccine rushed through by the Trump Administration.

“Trust in the Administration’s vaccine program has been deeply eroded by President Trump’s escalating politicized pressure and wild claims about a pre-November ‘very big surprise,’ but it’s going to take more than simple assurances from the drug industry to restore it,” said Eli Zupnick, spokesman for Accountable Pharma. 

“The drug companies may feel the need to restate their commitment to upholding ‘the integrity of the scientific process,’ but that doesn’t mean patients are going to just take their word for it. The drug companies need to make a strong and clear commitment to transparency and agree to independent oversight to confirm their claims regarding the safety and efficacy of any vaccine submitted for approval.”

Accountable Pharma has called for greater transparency at the FDA as well following previous instances of them bowing to inappropriate pressure from President Trump.

A timeline of political pressure on health officials

  • 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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