For every week we didn’t have a COVID-19 vaccine, more people died, more children were kept out of school, and more damage was done to society.
Yet it’s become increasingly clear that the FDA put the brakes on the vaccine at the 11th hour, delaying its authorization because Democrats — worried it would help Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election prospects — undermined public confidence in the vaccine development efforts.
We may never know how much damage was done in the name of politics. But one victim is clear: Americans’ trust in their government and public health experts.
Democrats are trying to deflect blame for this scandal by claiming the inverse: that the Trump administration undermined public trust by irresponsibly trying to “rush” the vaccine for political gain.
Last month, in a congressional report provocatively titled “A ‘Knife Fight’ with the FDA: The Trump White House’s Relentless Attacks on FDA’s Coronavirus Response,” the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis alleged that Trump administration officials “blocked FDA from issuing guidance on coronavirus vaccine authorizations for weeks in an attempt to ensure that the first vaccine could be authorized before the 2020 presidential election.”
It claims that the administration’s actions “resulted in damaging consequences for the coronavirus response” by undermining public confidence in the vaccine.
But the report, and the testimony of former FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn to the commission on which it is based, reveal these assertions are misleading, politically motivated distortions.
In reality, it was Trump opponents who undermined public confidence, resulting in new FDA guidelines that delayed vaccine availability and likely cost lives.
Here are the facts:
We know from interviews that vaccine trials were proceeding faster than anticipated and that an announcement about vaccine efficacy was possible by the end of October 2020 with authorization soon to follow.
Read full article at The New York Post.