Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn pushed back on President Trump’s weekend claim that his agency is controlled by the “deep state” in an interview with Reuters on Monday.
“I have not seen anything that I would consider to be ‘deep state’ at the FDA,” Hahn told Reuters. “I enjoy a very good relationship with the president and I have discussed our decisions with him, and I feel very comfortable and continue to feel comfortable with that relationship.”
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On Saturday, Trump accused the “deep state” at the FDA of making it hard for drug companies to test coronavirus treatments — and suggested the agency is trying to delay them until after Election Day.
“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,” he wrote on Twitter. “Obviously, they are hoping to delay the answer until after November 3rd. Must focus on speed, and saving lives!”
He also tagged Hahn in the tweet. Trump later re-tweeted a Twitter Moments story from June that reported on the FDA’s decision to revoke emergency-use authorization for hydroxychloroquine — a drug Trump has promoted as a “game changer” in the pandemic.
“Many doctors and studies disagree with this!” he said.
Trump has repeatedly urged agencies to push forward with experimental treatments as part of the effort to move beyond the virus and reopen the country. But some in those agencies and other federal officials have been more cautious.
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Trump’s tweet appears to be partially in response to a move by the FDA to stop the planned emergency-use authorization for blood plasma as a treatment for COVID-19 patients.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.