Healthcare

FDA chief says he was ‘disgusted’ by Capitol riots, considered resigning

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The head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said he was “disgusted” and considered resigning after rioters overtook the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory.

In an interview with Bloomberg News published Tuesday, Stephen Hahn said he was “horrified” by the mob attack, and that “making a statement with a resignation” was among the responses he considered in the following days. Several top Trump administration officials, such as Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, resigned in protest after the deadly riot.

“Now, with respect to January 6 — I was horrified and I was disgusted by what happened. We live in a democracy. There is no place for what we saw and those who are responsible for the actions that took place on the physical grounds of the Capitol should be held accountable,” Hahn said.

“We have a lot of things going on that are important from a public health point of view that required my attention and the senior leadership’s attention. Making a statement with a resignation certainly was a topic of consideration,” he added. “I think our public health mission and the need to provide leadership during a very critical time was more important.”

The administration was beset by a wave of resignations and harsh criticism from both sides of the aisle following the siege on the Capitol by Trump supporters who had just come from a rally near the White House, where the president urged them to “march down Pennsylvania Ave.” and pressure members of Congress to object to certifying the 2020 election.

In addition to Chao, the days following the riot saw the exit of Mick Mulvaney, the Trump administration’s envoy to Northern Ireland and former White House chief of staff.

Several GOP lawmakers, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), have called for Trump to leave office before his term is up on Wednesday at noon.

Tags Capitol breach Donald Trump Elaine Chao FDA Joe Biden Lisa Murkowski Mick Mulvaney Stephen Hahn
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