President Donald Trump has lashed out at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over its new set of coronavirus vaccine guidelines, which he claimed ride roughshod over the process of pre-election inoculation.
On Wednesday, POTUS tweeted that the new rules "make it more difficult" for the FDA "to speed up vaccines for approval before Election Day", describing the guidelines as "just another political hit job" and tagging FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn in his post.
New FDA Rules make it more difficult for them to speed up vaccines for approval before Election Day. Just another political hit job! @SteveFDA— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2020
The remarks followed The New York Times quoting unnamed sources as saying on Tuesday that White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has been blocking the guidelines since 21 September, when the document was submitted by the FDA to the Office of Management and Budget for review.
The new set of guidelines, which is a non-binding document outlining recommendations for pharmaceutical companies, suggests that trial subjects should be observed for at least two months after the last injection of a drug to ensure its safety and efficiency. The guidelines were issued by the FDA earlier on Tuesday.
This was preceded by Trump saying in late September that the guidelines have "to be approved by the White House", referring to the document as "a political move".
In a separate development late last month, POTUS claimed during the first presidential debate that the United States was "weeks away" from obtaining a coronavirus vaccine, adding that his administration has done a "great job" concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier, Trump pledged that 100 million doses of the vaccine would be distributed throughout the United States by the end of the year. He has repeatedly vowed that a vaccine would be available for distribution before the US presidential election on 3 November.
Democrats, in turn, accuse Trump of rushing the development of the vaccine in order to obtain it before the November election, something that they claim may affect the drug's effectiveness.