FDA commissioner says he has not felt ‘political pressure’ over coronavirus decisions

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Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn said Sunday he hasn’t felt any “political pressure” regarding decisions made in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd said there’s been “a lot of implications” that White House officials including President Trump “didn’t like this sounding of alarms that was taking place about this virus over the last six weeks.”

“Have you felt that pressure?” Todd asked Hahn. 

“Chuck, I have not felt political pressure. I have not exerted political pressure on FDA,” Hahn responded. 

“Where we do feel pressure is on the urgency of the situation,” he continued. “You pointed that out earlier in this conversation, and I, I think that’s right. This is a rapidly moving – it’s a novel coronavirus … and we have had to respond to that as information has come in to us.

“So there is an urgency around this,” he added, “but I have not received political pressure to have FDA make one decision versus another.

Hahn also said there has been “vigorous debates” regarding reopening the economy. 

“Since I’ve been on the task force, all the doctors are very free to express their opinion. The doctors debate issues. We exchange issues. We all bring information to the table,” Hahn said. 

He said that Trump and Vice President Pence have “always led with the medical input into this.” 

“As I said, the primacy here is the safety and the welfare of the American people,” Hahn added.

Tags Chuck Todd Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump Donald Trump Food and Drug Administration Mike Pence Stephen Hahn

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