White House Trade Advisor Peter Navarro reportedly accused Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials of being part of the “Deep State,” according to a new report.
According to Axios, Navarro clashed with FDA officials on the development timeline for a coronavirus vaccine.
The meeting — which was reportedly supposed to be focused on the administration’s coronavirus response and the Strategic National Stockpile — reportedly took a turn when Navarro told senior health officials they “are all Deep State” as he advised them “to get on Trump time.”
In reference to President Donald Trump’s timeline, Navarro demanded FDA officials speed up the development timeline for drugs and treatments for the coronavirus.
Five days after the reported meeting, Trump took to Twitter with remarks echoing what Navarro previously suggested.
“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,” the president tweeted. “Obviously, they are hoping to delay the answer until after November 3rd. Must focus on speed, and saving lives!”
Shortly after that tweet, Trump took aim at FDA officials again.
He retweeted a post highlighting the FDA’s decision “revoking its emergency use authorization of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for treating COVID-19 amid growing evidence that the drugs are ‘unlikely to be effective’ in treating the coronavirus.”
For months, Trump and Navarro have advocated for the use of hydrochloroquine to treat coronavirus despite multiple studies indicating the drug ineffective as a treatment for the novel virus.
Navarro even penned an op-ed scrutinizing Dr. Anthony Fauci work and expertise amid the ongoing pandemic. He faced so much backlash after publishing the piece that even the Trump administration opted to distance itself from the claims.
“The Peter Navarro op-ed didn’t go through normal White House clearance processes and is the opinion of Peter alone,” White House spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said in a tweet on July 15, adding: “[Donald Trump] values the expertise of the medical professionals advising his Administration.”
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