Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse leaders unveil bill to boost chip industry, science competitiveness with China Pelosi says she will run for reelection in 2022 Hoyer says 'significant' version of Build Back Better will pass this year MORE (D-Calif.) bashed President TrumpDonald TrumpDeputy AG: DOJ investigating fake Trump electors Former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz elected to Baseball Hall of Fame Overnight Health Care — Senators unveil pandemic prep overhaul MORE on Saturday after he urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to expedite the approval of coronavirus treatments, warning that the president was undermining public safety to help his reelection.
"The FDA has a responsibility to approve drugs, judging on their safety and their efficacy, not by a declaration from the White House about speed and politicizing the FDA," Pelosi said during a rare Saturday press briefing in the Capitol.
"This was a very dangerous statement on the part of the president," she added. "Even for him, it went beyond the pale in terms of how he would jeopardize the health and well-being of the American people."
The FDA must approve drugs or vaccines based on their safety and effectiveness – NOT political pressure from the White House.— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) August 22, 2020
The President’s dangerous attempt to inject himself into the scientific decisions of @US_FDA jeopardizes the health & well-being of all Americans. https://t.co/Dt7CBVjX1D
Hours earlier, Trump raised eyebrows when he attacked the FDA on Twitter, accusing "deep state" officials at the agency of slow-walking drug approvals related to the coronavirus in order to hamper his prospects at the polls in November.
“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," Trump tweeted. "Obviously, they are hoping to delay the answer until after November 3rd. Must focus on speed, and saving lives!"
Trump name-checked Stephen Hahn, the FDA commissioner, at the end of the message.
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. Must focus on speed, and saving lives! @SteveFDA— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 22, 2020
The back-and-forth arrives amid a growing controversy over the FDA's role in approving vaccines, tests and other treatments for the fast-spreading coronavirus, which has infected more than 5.6 million people in the United States, 175,000 of them fatally, according to data from The New York Times.
On Wednesday, the Health and Human Services Department announced that the administration will not require FDA approval of COVID-19 tests developed by private labs — a move that reportedly infuriated some FDA officials.
Pelosi on Saturday defended those internal critics, saying it was galling for Trump to accuse the FDA of playing politics "when he is the one who has tried to inject himself in the scientific decisions of the Food and Drug Administration."