In a tweet, President Donald Trump claimed over the weekend that the US Food and Drug Administration was deliberately impeding the development of drugs and vaccines for the coronavirus until after the US election, the Washington Post reports, noting that the accusation is baseless.
As the Post reports, President Trump has increasingly turned his ire against government scientists, including Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator. While he had recently commended the FDA, President Trump said last week the agency was delaying the authorization of convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19, it adds. (The agency issued an Emergency Use Authorization on Sunday allowing its use, as CNN reports.)
In the Saturday tweet, President Trump wrote that 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." That is election day in the US.
The tweet drew criticism from scientists and former FDA officials, the Post adds. "This is no time to politicize the work of FDA," Former FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg tells it. "It has to have the independence to do its job without fear of retaliation."