White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows believes that are some officials in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) who do not have a sense of urgency when it comes to developing a coronavirus vaccine.
“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,” President Donald Trump said in a tweet on Friday morning.
“Obviously, they are hoping to delay the answer until after November 3rd. Must focus on speed, and saving lives!” he added.
During an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” Meadows was pressed on whether Trump believes the FDA is slowing down the development of a vaccine for political purposes.
“Well, your words are manipulating it,” Meadows responded. “Here’s what we continue to look at — and it’s not just FDA it’s NIH and others as we look at the protocols — and Dr. Hahn was very right to say we’re not cutting any corners, cause we’re not cutting any corners.”
“But what we have, is we have a China-virus that came here, and we have to deliver answers. And the president each and every day is saying, ‘Why don’t we have an answer today? Why don’t we have an answer tomorrow?’ … We want to wear a belt and suspenders the way some of these bureaucrats want to look at it. They want to do things the way they’ve always done it. This president is about cutting red tape, that’s what the tweet was all about.”
He also said there will be “an announcement” later on Sunday that would make sure that “they feel the heat.”
Watch the video below:
.@GStephanopoulos: So Trump does believes there are those in the FDA who are trying to delay testing vaccines and therapeutics for political purposes?
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) August 23, 2020
When asked again if the FDA is intentionally slowing down the development of a vaccine, Meadows said, “We’ve looked at a number of people that are not being as diligent as they should be in terms of getting to the bottom of it.”
He said the reason FDA employees have not been fired is that it is “almost impossible to fire a federal employee.”
“We really need to make sure that we have good science and the proper protocol, but we also can’t wait around and assume that this virus is going to go away,” he said.
Finally, Meadows was asked, yet again, if Trump believes FDA employees are intentionally delaying the development of a vaccine, “I believe that there are a number of people that do not see the same sense of urgency as he sees.”
He added, “[Trump] just wants to make sure that he feels the same urgency.”
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