Will FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn Cave To Political Pressure And Approve A Risky And Hazardous Vaccine?

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Written by Ann Brown
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Will FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn cave to political pressure from the White House and approve a risky and hazardous vaccine? Photo: Dr. Gustavo Romero, of University Hospital of Brasilia’s Nucleus of Tropical Medicine, presents to the press China’s Sinovac Biotech experimental vaccine for the new coronavirus before it is administered to volunteers in Brasilia, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. According to a statement from the University Hospital, 850 volunteers, including health professionals, will receive shots starting Wednesday as part of a study on whether the experimental vaccine works. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

There is a mad rush to find a vaccine for covid-19. And as the death toll continues to rise in the U.S, some are wondering if FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn will cave to political pressure and approve a risky and hazardous vaccine.

Trump has repeatedly said there might be a covid-19 vaccine ready around Election Day in November, The Hill reported.

“I think in some cases, yes, possible before, but right around that time,” Trump said on Geraldo Rivera’s radio show when questioned if he thought a vaccine would be ready by Nov. 3.

“We have great companies,” he added. “The rest of the world is also doing vaccines, so let’s see how they do.”

But in a recent op-ed piece Hahn wrote for the Washington Post, he emphasized there is no timeline. He wrote, “The framework in the United States to support a covid-19 vaccine is now in place. Testing is underway and manufacturing capacity is rapidly expanding. But let’s be clear: The development effort must adhere to standards that will ensure any covid-19 vaccine’s safety and effectiveness.”

According to Hahn, there have been large-scale clinical trials and that by this fall, the FDA expects to start identifying which vaccine candidates are truly viable. But that would still be a long way from a vaccine.

Hahn said there is a project called Operation Warp Speed, which operates independently of the FDA as a partnership between HHS and the Defense Department. Operation Warp Speed has been organizing the stockpiling of vials and other equipment necessary for a national immunization program.

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He also warned that he could not “make any predictions about timing of an emergency use or final approval of a covid-19 vaccine.”

Since Hahn is on one page and Trump on another, will the president exert political pressure on vaccine development in a bid to boost his reelection hopes?

This puts Hahn in a sticky situation. As Moguldom Nation founder Jamarlin Martin @JamarlinMartin tweeted: “It’s a decent chance the FDA chief resigns. I wonder what the polling looks like on ‘would you take the first vaccine after the resignation of the FDA Chief?'”

Trump is clear he wants a vaccine fast.

“I’m rushing it. I am. I’m pushing everybody,” Trump told Rivera of the push for a vaccine.