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.
.@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
Mark Meadows: “I believe that there are a number of people that do not see the same sense of urgency.” https://t.co/P6iz1jjwYE pic.twitter.com/C2lLlPTAJ5
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 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. Obviously, they are hoping to delay the answer until after November 3rd. Must focus on speed, and saving lives! @SteveFDA— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 22, 2020
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.