Trump says White House could reject FDA’s tougher standards for COVID-19 vaccine

Trump says White House could reject FDA’s tougher standards for COVID-19 vaccine
Posted at 7:49 AM, Sep 24, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Amid reports that the FDA is considering tougher standards for the authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine, President Donald Trump claimed Wednesday that the White House could override that decision.

The Washington Post and CNN report that the FDA is expected to roll out the new standard for emergency authorization of a vaccine soon, which would make it exceedingly difficult for a vaccine to be cleared by Election Day.

The FDA is expected to issue the guidance to increase transparency and public trust in the potential vaccine, The Post reports. The news comes as recent polls show Americans are increasingly skeptical about the vaccine process.

As the president campaigns for reelection, he has repeatedly said he expects to have a coronavirus vaccine available to the public around Nov. 3 and that he would like to see one offered around that time.

During a briefing on Wednesday, Trump warned that his administration might reject the FDA’s tougher standards.

“We're looking at that and that has to be approved by the White House,” Trump told reporters. “We may or may not approve it. That sounds like a political move.”

An FDA official confirmed to CNN that these types of guideline changes do go through the White House’s Office Management and Budget for review.

At least one member of the White House's coronavirus task force says he's willing to be vaccinated.

"If a vaccine, there's shown to be and proven to be and authorized by the FDA to be safe and effective, I certainly would take that vaccine and I would recommend to my family that they take that vaccine," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Trump says he has faith in the research underway and says the sooner a vaccine is available, the better.

"When they come back and they say that we have something that works and absolutely works and they're coming back with these great numbers and statistics and tests and everything that they have to come back with, I don't see any reason why it should be delayed any further," said Trump.

The director of the National Institutes of Health reports that two more COVID-19 vaccines will likely soon enter phase three trials.

CNN contributed to this report.