Growing reports that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials plan to step down over the current White House Covid-19 booster shot guidelines is creating a “mess” for the administration, according to Fox News contributor Dr. Mark Siegel.
The FDA has reportedly not reviewed data on the Covid-19 vaccine booster shot.
In a statement, the FDA stated that deputy director Phil Krause, and Marion Gruber, director of the agency’s Office of Vaccines Research and Review, will be leaving. Gruber will be leaving in October, with Krause following in November.
Dr. Siegel said that the clash between the White House and the FDA is an issue. “There’s a lot of finger-pointing…this is a mess for the administration right now,” he said.
Biden had promised to “follow the science.” However, some experts now believe that with this administration the science must follow Biden.
The president’s Sept. 20 deadline for the rollout of the coronavirus booster faced fierce push back from scientists who cite the lack of reliable scientific data. For many in the FDA, the push to meet the September deadline contradicts Biden’s vow previous Covid-19 policy.
Public health experts are becoming more vocal, speaking out that keeping pace with the administration’s September 20 timeline has put substantial pressure on scientists. Those analyzing the evidence have said that there is not enough time to investigate the data before the deadline.
Krause and Gruber reportedly quit over the disagreement with Peter Marks, the FDA’s top vaccine official, and the White House’s push to roll out the vaccine booster shots on a tight schedule.
President denies rejecting science
The resignations come after Biden’s oft-repeated message of following science was repeated across the nation last year.
At the time, candidate Biden’s website stated: “Whatever the state of the Covid pandemic on the day Joe Biden and Kamala Harris take office, their administration will: Listen to science, ensure public health professionals inform public health decisions, restore trust, transparency, common purpose, and accountability to our government.”
Following the election, the president and his administration have continuously used the idea and phrase while plugging the September 20 timeline.
“This booster program is going to start here on September 20, pending approval of the FDA and then a CDC committee of outside experts,” Biden said.
Dr. Steven Joffe, a professor of health policy and medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania, told a news organization that “we want doctors and scientists and the public to trust in the recommendations and decisions that are made, to be able to point to the FDA and CDC doing their due diligence.”
According to a U.S. government health source that spoke to Fox News, members of the CDC feel that the White House has underestimated the time needed to meet the September 20 deadline.
Johns Hopkins vaccine researcher Anna Durbin told the medical publication STAT that the push for booster shots this early in the country’s use of the vaccines does not appear to be science-based.
“I think there’s this tidal wave building that’s based on anxiety. And I don’t think it’s based on scientific evidence that a booster is needed,” said Durbin. “We cannot keep [boosting] and say: ‘We’re going to prevent colds in everybody.”
Jesse Goodman, who served as the FDA’s chief scientist under the Obama administration, has also been critical of the administration’s booster announcement said, “Normally, what you do is lay out the data first, and then say how the data supports the decision,” explained Goodman, while explaining to STAT that the Biden administration is opposite of the norm.
“This is a serious mistake in how it was handled,” said Goodman.