President Donald Trump on Saturday baselessly accused the “deep state” at the Federal Drug Administration of purposely making it difficult for drug companies to get people to participate in clinical trials as a deliberate tactic to delay a COVID-19 vaccine until after the election.
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
“Obviously, they are hoping to delay the answer until after November 3rd,” Trump wrote, as though the speed of vaccine testing was a targeted attempt to impede his re-election or slow his chance for a victory lap.
While Trump began the tweet with his sweeping — and customary — accusation against the alleged “deep state” that conspiracy theories suggest is embedded in government agencies and actively working against his re-election, Trump concluded the tweet by directly tagging the account of FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn, who he had nominated for the job last year.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Saturday called Trump’s tweet “a very dangerous statement,” adding that “even for him, it went beyond the pale.”
“The FDA has a responsibility to approve drugs, judging on their safety and their efficacy, not by a declaration from the White House about speed and politicizing the FDA,” Pelosi said at a rare Saturday news conference ahead of a House vote.
The tweet intensifies past efforts by the President to attack scientists within his administration for challenging his opinions and sometimes untenable timelines. Trump has continuously criticized top infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony S. Fauci who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, for not endorsing his opinions about resuming in-person learning and sports games.
In another tweet Saturday, Trump doubled down on his attack on the FDA for its decision to withdraw authorization for emergency use of hydroxychloroquine a treatment for COVID-19 suggesting that “many doctors and scientists disagree with this!”
The President has routinely appeared to reject and undercut recommendations from genuine health experts in favor of sharing unsubstantiated claims from unreliable sources that claim to align with science but in fact have often contributed to the spread of false information about the coronavirus.
In one instance last month, Trump retweeted the viral video of a woman who belonged to a group called “America’s Frontline Doctors” who falsely promoted hydroxychloroquine as a “cure” for COVID-19. Further examination of the doctor’s credentials showed that she had history of making false statements — including a claim that endometriosis is caused by sex with demons in dreams.