FDA chief issues mea culpa for his plasma treatment claims

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Hahn’s defense comes as his agency has already faced pressure from all sides as it races to get a coronavirus vaccine to market in record time.

The FDA commissioner has worked in recent weeks to rebut concerns that his agency might bow to political pressure as it expedites oversight of work on coronavirus treatments and vaccines. Hahn has offered assurances that FDA won’t sacrifice the safety or efficacy of a coronavirus vaccine for the sake of speed — even as the president is pushing the agency to move faster.

The commissioner’s actions Sunday, which came after Trump accused the FDA of slow-walking the therapy to harm his reelection, renewed many public health experts’ fears that the administration will rush through a Covid-19 vaccine without proof that it works.

In an interview with POLITICO, Hahn explained that “I thought it was really important for the American people and the agency, the FDA, to correct that record” the plasma decision, which he said he wanted to stress was made by career officials.

“I 100 percent stand behind” the scientists at the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research and its director, Peter Marks, Hahn added. “As we get more data, if we have to change the EUA, we will change it.”

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