Concerns that Donald Trump’s inner circle might pressure the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to rush a coronavirus vaccine to market in time for the presidential election have risen after the White House attacked the agency for reversing itself on an experimental drug treatment.
Critics say that the FDA’s decision in April to approve hydroxychloroquine for emergency use – an approval that the agency revoked last Monday – demonstrated that the regulator is vulnerable to political pressure from the White House.
But other outside experts said that regulatory approval for any vaccine would require a degree of data transparency that would prevent the process from being unduly rushed.
What’s all this talk about a “second wave” of U.S. coronavirus cases?
In The Wall Street Journal last week, Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a piece headlined “There Isn’t a Coronavirus ‘Second Wave’” that the nation is winning the fight against the virus.
Many public health experts, however, suggest it’s no time to celebrate. About 120,000 Americans have died from the new virus and daily counts of new cases in the U.S. are the highest they’ve been in more than a month, driven by alarming recent increases in the South and West.
But there is at least one point of agreement: “Second wave” is probably the wrong term to describe what’s happening.
Arizona, Texas and Florida are all reporting record-high single-day increases in COVID-19 cases, surpassing previous records set just a few days ago.
The three states all reported their highest new case numbers yet on Thursday and Friday, worrying public health experts that the outbreaks there are growing out of control.
“These are on the cusp of getting out of control,” former Food and Drug Administration chief Scott Gottlieb said Thursday on CNBC. “I think these states still have a week or two to take actions to try to get these under control,” he said, describing the rising cases as “outbreaks.”
Arizona reported 3,246 new COVID-19 cases Friday morning, surpassing the record-high of 2,519 new cases reported the day before.
U.S. DEATHS: 119,977…