14:25 GMT23 September 2020
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    The US Food and Drug Administration, the government body responsible for the control and regulation of pharmaceutical drugs and medicine, is currently undergoing clinical trials for a potential vaccine for the coronavirus.

    Donald Trump's accusation that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is delaying clinical trials for the coronavirus vaccine for political reasons is a way of making the agency “feel the heat” and advance the process, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said on Sunday.

    While speaking on ABC’s “This Week” with host George Stephanopoulos, Meadows claimed that the president’s comments were part of a wider push to put pressure on the government body, and other agencies currently involved with the development of a vaccine, to work harder.

    ​Trump “had to make sure that they felt the heat”, Meadows explained

    “If they don't see the light, they need to feel the heat, because the American people are suffering. This president knows it, and he’s going to put it on wherever — the FDA or NIH or anybody else to make sure that we deliver on behalf of the American people."

    Meadows said that he thinks some of those working in the agency do not share the "same sense of urgency" as the president.

    “They know that some kind of result today is good for the American people, and he just wants to make sure they feel the same urgency”, he said.

    The president tweeted on Saturday that the “deep state” at the FDA was making it "very difficult" for drug companies to get people in order to test the vaccines and therapeutics.

    ​The FDA does not conduct vaccine trials itself, but rather oversees those who do, the agency claims. According to CNN, a vaccine candidate developed by Moderna and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was moved to phase 3 clinical trials in July.


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