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POLITICIZING A PANDEMIC

Trump Calls on FDA to Fast-Track Coronavirus Vaccine Approvals

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday publicly called on the Food and Drug Administration to fast-track approvals of coronavirus vaccines after a fourth American drug company’s COVID-19 vaccine entered the final clinical trials stage. The call came just one day after the U.S. saw its 200,000 coronavirus death.

Big news,” Trump tweeted. “Numerous great companies are seeing fantastic results. @FDA must move quickly!”

Trump then retweeted other tweets praising the Johnson & Johnson drug trial.

Many see Trump’s actions as inappropriate pressure on what is supposed to be an independent, non-partisan federal agency, and some see them as dangerous.

A Washington Post reporter noted the FDA on Tuesday said it was raising the bar on coronavirus vaccine approvals.

But Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Monday issued a draconian order hamstringing the FDA and requiring all moves to be approved by him.

Here’s former Obama Under Secretary of State Richard Stengel, issuing a warning:

 

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POLITICIZING A PANDEMIC

‘Do You Think You Might Be a Super Spreader?’: Trump Refuses to Answer Questions as He Leaves Walter Reed (Video)

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President Donald Trump, to the shock of the nation, just left Walter Reed Medical Center after a mere 70 hours of treatment for his coronavirus illness.

One reporter as Trump was filmed walking out the doors and into the presidential limousine asked, “Do you think you might be a super spreader?”

He did not respond but appeared to shake his head slightly.

Trump took no questions, but did say “thank you,” and gave his usual thumbs up sign.

Watch:

 

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POLITICIZING A PANDEMIC

FDA Chief Apologizes for Vastly Overstating Plasma Benefit – Days After Trump Announced It as a ‘Major Breakthrough’

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Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn is apologizing Tuesday morning for vastly overstating the benefits of convalescent plasma in the treatment of COVID-19 patients. His announcement comes less than 48 hours after appearing with President Donald Trump and “echoing” his false claim that it cures 35 percent of those infected with the coronavirus.

“Hahn had echoed Trump in saying that 35 more people out of 100 would survive the coronavirus if they were treated with the plasma,” the Associated Press reports. “That claim vastly overstated preliminary findings of Mayo Clinic observation.”

Calling the criticism he received “entirely justified,” Hahn Monday night, as the Republican National Convention was going on, posted this tweet:

After a week of internal attacks from high-ranking members of the Trump administration, the FDA agreed to grant an emergency authorization for the use of convalescent plasma, despite just days earlier reversing guidance after studies showed weak or inconclusive results.

White House Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro, for example, “had aggressively confronted FDA officials,” last week, Axios reported, “saying, ‘You are all Deep State and you need to get on Trump Time.’ (That’s the expression Navarro uses to describe the speed that he says Trump demands.)”

Early Saturday morning President Trump used that same line of attack to go after Commissioner Hahn directly and very publicly:

Before the day had ended the White House teased out that President Donald Trump would be making an announcement Sunday evening about “a major therapeutic breakthrough on the China Virus” – and that Hahn would be there to support it.

Tuesday morning Hahn went on “CBS This Morning” to apologize and explain.

Dr. Peter Lurie, a former FDA official under the Obama administration who now leads the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest told the AP that Dr. Hahn’s characterization of benefits of convalescent plasma in COVID-19 patients was “extraordinary” and “mind-boggling.”

Image: Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour via Flickr

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POLITICIZING A PANDEMIC

Look: Trump’s Notes Said ‘Corona Virus.’ That Was Crossed Out to Read ‘Chinese Virus.’

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If there were any question that President Donald Trump is politicizing the coronavirus pandemic, his notes put that to rest.

Washington Post photographer Jabin Botsford snapped a shot of President Donald Trump’s notes from Thursday’s coronavirus task force press briefing.

As he shows in the images below, Trump’s speech reads “Corona Virus,” but the word “Corona” was crossed out with a black marker and replaced with the word “Chinese.”

It’s unknown who made the change, and it’s possible even if that’s not Trump’s handwriting that he could have directed a staffer to “correct” it for him.

Trump has taken to calling coronavirus the “Chinese virus” all week, ever since his apparent decision to present himself as having known and said the coronavirus crisis was a pandemic all along – which is false. He called it a hoax and worked to minimize its lethality for months.

But on Twitter and in speaking in public Trump has worked to call it the “Chinese virus.”

 

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