The Trump administration during the coronavirus pandemic pushed the Food and Drug Administration to authorize questionable vaccines and treatment to fight COVID-19, a new House investigative report charges.
Trump administration officials had a "crusade against (the US Food and Drug Administration that) resulted in damaging consequences for the coronavirus response," the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, led by Democrats, said in a report released Wednesday.
"The Select Subcommittee's findings that Trump White House officials deliberately and repeatedly sought to bend FDA's scientific work on coronavirus treatments and vaccines to the White House's political will are yet another example of how the prior Administration prioritized politics over public health," House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), who also chairs the subcommittee, said in a statement.
"These assaults on our nation's public health institutions undermined the nation's coronavirus response," he added.
The report said White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Director Peter Navarro "exerted inappropriate pressure" on the FDA to reissue an emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug then-President Donald Trump promoted as a "game-changer" for COVID-19.
Former FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn told the committee Navarro "was very demonstrative about his belief that hydroxychloroquine would work, and was working, and that it had met the statutory standard for an (emergency use authorization) even after FDA revoked its authorization."
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