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Trump criticizes FDA on Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause
Former President Trump rebuked the Biden administration, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday for the decision to pause administration of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine for concerns over potential blood clots.
"The Biden Administration did a terrible disservice to people throughout the world by allowing the FDA and CDC to call a 'pause' in the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine," Trump said in a statement. "The results of this vaccine have been extraordinary but now it's reputation will be permanently challenged. The people who have already taken the vaccine will be up in arms, and perhaps all of this was done for politics or perhaps it's the FDA's love for Pfizer."
Trump argued the FDA should not be permitted to enact such a restriction over what he called "possibly political reasons, or maybe because their friends at Pfizer have suggested it."
The former president echoed his claim that the announcement of the Pfizer vaccine's authorization was withheld until after the election in order to harm him politically. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla has said that the vaccine's viability was announced as soon as possible.
"They didn't like me very much because I pushed them extremely hard," Trump added. "But if I didn't, you wouldn't have a vaccine for 3-5 years, or maybe not at all. It takes them years to act! Do your testing, clean up the record, and get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine back online quickly."
Jeff Zients, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator, said on Tuesday that pausing the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would not have a "significant impact" on the national vaccination effort.
"This announcement will not have a significant impact on our vaccination plan: Johnson & Johnson vaccine makes up less than 5 percent of the recorded shots in arms in the United States to date," Zients said in a statement.