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Blatant Politicization of the FDA Hurts Its Credibility

Statement of Dr. Michael Carome, Director, Public Citizen’s Health Research Group

Note: President Donald Trump announced Sunday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency use authorization for the use of convalescent plasma to treat patients with COVID-19. Last week, The New York Times reported that “just as the Food and Drug Administration was preparing to issue an emergency authorization for blood plasma as a COVID-19 treatment, a group of top federal health officials including Dr. Francis S. Collins and Dr. Anthony S. Fauci intervened, arguing that emerging data on the treatment was too weak.”

Make no mistake – The FDA’s decision to grant an emergency use authorization for COVID-19 convalescent plasma on the eve of the Republican National Convention represents the most blatant politicization of FDA decision making in history.

Such action seriously damages the FDA’s credibility during the greatest public health crisis in 100 years. This does not bode well for future FDA decisions regarding COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics between now and election day.