Washington, DC – Today, Accountable Pharma released the following statement following new reporting that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is preparing new guidance to “boost transparency and public trust” in the Administration’s vaccine development process. The guidance is currently with the White House Office of Management and Budget and could be blocked or watered down by Trump’s political appointees before it is formally issued.

“Trump and his political appointees have inappropriately pressured, intimidated, and overruled career public health officials too many times already, but the stakes are far too high for that to happen again with this upcoming FDA guidance,” said Eli Zupnick, spokesman for Accountable Pharma.

“We all want a safe and effective vaccine to come as quickly as possible and this guidance is an important step in restoring the public trust that Trump has undermined. Trump’s White House must not block or water down this guidance and must allow scientists and public health officials, not Trump’s political interests, to guide this vaccine approval process.”

The news of upcoming FDA guidance comes as President Trump continues to hype an upcoming vaccine, just last night saying one would be coming “very, very shortly,” as polls show that fewer than 1 in 10 Americans have a great deal of confidence in Trump to confirm vaccine effectiveness,” and as the Washington Post reports, “public health experts are increasingly worried that President Trump’s repeated predictions of a coronavirus vaccine by Nov. 3, coupled with the administration’s interference in federal science agencies, may prompt Americans to reject any vaccine as rushed and potentially tainted.”

A timeline of political pressure on health officials

  • 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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