The president’s claim that the FDA is delaying clinical trials for the coronavirus vaccine for political reasons is his way of making some at the agency “feel the heat” and push forward, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Sunday.
President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday morning that the “deep state” at the Food and Drug Administration “is making it very difficult for drug companies to get people in order to test the vaccines and therapeutics.”
Meadows came to the president’s defense on ABC’s “This Week” with host George Stephanopoulos, claiming that the president’s remarks are part of a larger effort to put pressure on the agency, and other agencies working on the coronavirus response, to move quickly.
The president “had to make sure that they felt the heat,” Meadows said. “If they don’t see the light, they need to feel the heat, because the American people are suffering. This president knows it, and he’s going to put it on wherever — the FDA or NIH or anybody else to make sure that we deliver on behalf of the American people.”
Meadows also said he believes that some people at the agency “do not see the same sense of urgency as he sees.”
“They know that some kind of result today is good for the American people, and he just wants to make sure they feel the same urgency,” he said.