Second Trump appointee out at FDA amid credibility concerns

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  tessylo  •  3 weeks ago  •  6 comments

By:   MATTHEW PERRONE and RYAN J. FOLEY, AP

Second Trump appointee out at FDA amid credibility concerns

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


Politics

Second Trump appointee out at FDA amid credibility concerns





MATTHEW PERRONE and RYAN J. FOLEY


AP_Light@1x.png September 2, 2020, 12:06 PM EDT








WASHINGTON (AP) — A second Trump administration appointee has been ousted at the Food and Drug Administration in the wake of the agency's botched announcement about an experimental therapy for COVID-19, which medical experts said damaged the health regulator's credibility with the public.

An FDA spokesperson confirmed Wednesday that John “Wolf” Wagner, a political appointee installed by the White House earlier this summer, is no longer heading the agency’s office of external affairs. Instead, Heidi Rebello, a longtime FDA career official, has stepped into the position on an acting basis, overseeing all FDA public communications. Politico first reported the news.

The shakeup comes just five days after conservative communications specialist Emily Miller was removed from her post heading the agency’s press office. Miller served just 11 days on the job and helped coordinate the agency’s announcement that it had granted emergency authorization to convalescent plasma for COVID-19 patients.

That announcement triggered a backlash last week after FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn was forced to correct misstatements that inflated the potential benefits of the therapy. The decision to authorize the treatment also followed threats and complaints from President Donald Trump, raising concerns that the FDA had buckled to political pressure from the president.




Health experts and former FDA officials say Hahn tarnished the agency’s reputation at the moment it’s needed most: as agency scientists prepare to decide whether upcoming coronavirus vaccines are effective and safe to be given to millions of Americans. Public doubts about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines could derail U.S. plans for a mass vaccination effort.

Wagner is a longtime government and military spokesman with strong ties to the Republican Party and Trump White House. He was appointed to the FDA in June.

He previously worked as a communications consultant for the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, where he developed talking points and messaging, lined up surrogates for Trump and oversaw media engagements.

He was appointed in 2017 as deputy assistant secretary at the Department of Veterans Affairs, overseeing its public affairs operations and advising government officials on veterans issues. He helped develop the ChooseVA marketing program launched in 2018 that promoted the department’s services and benefits to veterans and aimed to attract and retain employees.

Wagner was one of several Trump loyalists appointed to the FDA over the summer.

Miller's appointment in mid-August drew scrutiny because it brought an outspoken pro-Trump media strategist with little background in science into an influential FDA role usually reserved for a career professional.

During her few days as chief spokeswoman, she defended her credentials, sparred with some reporters on Twitter and pushed back against claims that the FDA’s convalescent plasma announcement was influenced by politics.

The FDA spokesperson said Wednesday that FDA communications adviser Michael Felberbaum had stepped into the role previously held by Miller on an acting basis.




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Tessylo
1  seeder  Tessylo    3 weeks ago

A second Trump administration appointee has been ousted at the Food and Drug Administration in the wake of the agency's botched announcement about an experimental therapy for COVID-19, which medical experts said damaged the health regulator's credibility with the public.

An FDA spokesperson confirmed Wednesday that John “Wolf” Wagner, a political appointee installed by the White House earlier this summer, is no longer heading the agency’s office of external affairs. Instead, Heidi Rebello, a longtime FDA career official, has stepped into the position on an acting basis, overseeing all FDA public communications. Politico first reported the news.

The shakeup comes just five days after conservative communications specialist Emily Miller was removed from her post heading the agency’s press office. Miller served just 11 days on the job and helped coordinate the agency’s announcement that it had granted emergency authorization to convalescent plasma for COVID-19 patients.

That announcement triggered a backlash last week after FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn was forced to correct misstatements that inflated the potential benefits of the therapy. The decision to authorize the treatment also followed threats and complaints from President Donald Trump, raising concerns that the FDA had buckled to political pressure from the president.

 
 
 
Tessylo
2  seeder  Tessylo    3 weeks ago

There is no such thing as a credible trumpturd appointee

 
 
 
Tessylo
3  seeder  Tessylo    3 weeks ago

Wagner was one of several Trump loyalists appointed to the FDA over the summer.

Miller's appointment in mid-August drew scrutiny because it brought an outspoken pro-Trump media strategist with little background in science into an influential FDA role usually reserved for a career professional.

During her few days as chief spokeswoman, she defended her credentials, sparred with some reporters on Twitter and pushed back against claims that the FDA’s convalescent plasma announcement was influenced by politics.

The FDA spokesperson said Wednesday that FDA communications adviser Michael Felberbaum had stepped into the role previously held by Miller on an acting basis.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
4  Bob Nelson    3 weeks ago

When we hear the words "Trump appointee"... we automatically understand "incompetent and corrupt".

How sad is that? 

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
5  Thrawn 31    3 weeks ago

My university, and my kids school are betting on the FDA and CDC giving the green light to an effective vaccine... If we cannot trust the federal government (the ultimate authority) on these things, then what the fuck?

Shit, for all I know it is V.Putin Approved

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
5.1  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Thrawn 31 @5    3 weeks ago

Can we ask that all of the Trump crime family be the first in line for any new vaccine they want to distribute to the rest of the country?  

You know..... as an example for the nation.

 
 
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