US President Donald Trump has harshly criticised the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) for its slow process of approval of the Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines for emergency use in the US. POTUS called the FDA a "big, old, slow turtle" and a "heavily bureaucratic" body.
While my pushing the money drenched but heavily bureaucratic @US_FDA saved five years in the approval of NUMEROUS great new vaccines, it is still a big, old, slow turtle. Get the dam vaccines out NOW, Dr. Hahn @SteveFDA. Stop playing games and start saving lives!!!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 11, 2020
Trump went on to demand that the FDA "stop playing games" and start "saving lives" instead by authorising the use of the "dam [sic] vaccines" as soon as possible.
US Lags Behind Foreign States in Authorising Domestically-Made Vaccines
POTUS' criticism comes in the wake of the FDA advisory panel recommending granting emergency authorisation to Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine, noting that its potential benefits outweigh the risks. The FDA is still reviewing Pfizer's jab, along with another vaccine developed by Moderna with funding and help from the Operation Warp Speed” project initiated by the Trump administration. The project sought to develop and start distributing a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.
According to US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, the FDA will clear the Pfizer vaccine on 14 or 15 December, and added that mass vaccinations of Americans will commence as soon as it's done. Azar said the government will help to distribute the vaccines, which will be prioritised for healthcare workers and nursing home residents. He expects 100 million vaccinations to be carried out by the end of February.
The US lags behind several countries that have already cleared the American vaccines for emergency use to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Bahrain, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and the UK have already authorised the use of the Pfizer vaccine in an attempt to hasten the end of the pandemic and start reopening their economies after some of them started re-imposing lockdowns amid a new wave of COVID-19 infections.