Bill Gates questions whether FDA can be trusted on vaccine

Bill Gates questions whether FDA can be trusted on vaccine
© getty: Bill Gates

Microsoft founder Bill Gates questioned whether a coronavirus vaccine approved by theFood and Drug Administration (FDA) could be trusted as safe and effective, telling Bloomberg TV the agency has been politicized under the Trump administration.

Gates specifically cited FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn touting blood plasma as a potential treatment, only to reverse himself a day later.

“We saw with the completely bungled plasma statements that when you start pressuring people to say optimistic things, they go completely off the rails. The FDA lost a lot of credibility there,” Gates told the outlet.

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“Historically, just like the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] CDC was viewed as the best in the world, the FDA had that same reputation as a top-notch regulator,” he added. “But there’s been some cracks with some of the things they’ve said at the commissioner level.”

Amid concerns over a potentially rushed vaccine, nine pharmaceutical companies signed a joint pledge not to submit any vaccine without confidence in its safety and efficacy earlier this month.

“These companies are very professional and the benefits of the vaccine here are very dramatic,” Gates told Bloomberg TV. “Thank goodness that we have this private-sector expertise that we want to shape into a global public good that gets to everybody on the planet.”

President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama calls on Senate not to fill Ginsburg's vacancy until after election Planned Parenthood: 'The fate of our rights' depends on Ginsburg replacement Progressive group to spend M in ad campaign on Supreme Court vacancy MORE has repeatedly suggested a vaccine will be available before Election Day, contradicting most health experts who have said it is more likely to be ready next year. Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump and Biden vie for Minnesota | Early voting begins in four states | Blue state GOP governors back Susan Collins Kamala Harris: Black Americans have been 'disproportionately harmed' by Trump Biden town hall draws 3.3 million viewers for CNN MORE (D-Calif.), Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenSenate Republicans face tough decision on replacing Ginsburg What Senate Republicans have said about election-year Supreme Court vacancies Biden says Ginsburg successor should be picked by candidate who wins on Nov. 3 MORE’s running mate, has suggested she would not trust the safety and efficacy of a vaccine on Trump’s word alone.

“It would have to be a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and the reliability of whatever he's talking about,” Harris told CNN earlier this month.

Biden, meanwhile, said last week that he “would want to see what the scientists said” but would take a vaccine “tomorrow” if it was available.

“We need a vaccine and we need it now,” Biden said in Lancaster, Pa. “We have to listen to the scientists."