Federal Health Agencies Push Back Against Political Interference

Less than a month before the election and one week into President Trump’s own disease course, the White House is experiencing pushback from its foremost federal health agencies.

On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released stricter guidelines for authorizing Covid-19 vaccines, despite the best efforts of the current administration to block them. The decision came shortly after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised its own safety guidelines to reaffirm the possibility of airborne transmission, resolving what has been a matter of contention for months.

Both reversals are welcome developments for those of us who fear the White House has overstepped one too many boundaries to advance its own electoral agenda. Between slackening the criteria for emergency use authorizations and trumpeting promises of vaccines by Election Day, the potential for political interference to overdetermine a decision as consequential as approving a vaccine is alarming, to say the least.

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Originally published in Forbes (October 8, 2020)

© William A. Haseltine, PhD. All Rights Reserved.