White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said late Saturday that Trump will hold a news
conference at 6 p.m. EDT on Sunday on a “major therapeutic breakthrough” against Covid-19. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn and Health and Human Service Secretary Alex Azar will also attend, she said.
While Meadows didn’t provide details on the announcement, he suggested part of the reason is that Trump wants to make federal health agencies “feel the heat” to deliver results.
“We really need to make sure that we have good science and the proper protocols, but we also can’t wait around and assume that this virus is going to go away,” Meadows said. “This president wants real results and that’s why he took to Twitter.”
Asked whether he believes FDA employees are delaying a vaccine for political purposes ahead of the general election, Meadows said: “I believe there are a number of people that do not see the same sense of urgency that he sees.”
There’s no public evidence that FDA scientists and staff members are delaying treatments or vaccines, and Trump didn’t present any.But with his political future hinging on his response to the Covid-19 pandemic and his promise to present a vaccine by Election Day on Nov. 3, the FDA is now facing the same sort of political pressure and rhetoric from the White House as those other parts of government.
Trump uses the term “deep state” to describe employees of government agencies that he believes are manipulating policy to work against his interests. His tweet on Saturday tagged Hahn, who’s a Trump appointee.