Reporting on a planned White House task force meeting on Tuesday where FDA head Steven Hahn is expected to provide an update on the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, CNN's John Harwood said officials in the government are having to fend off a pestering Donald Trump.
According to CNN's Jim Sciutto, Trump is "upset" that the vaccine hasn't been released to the public yet because he doesn't understand the complexity of the massive public health project and why the FDA hasn't approved the vaccine's release.
"This is not the first time we've been concerned about the president interfering, perhaps with an eye towards politics, to the scientific questions about vaccine approval. What do we know?" Sciutto asked.
"We know that Stephen Hahn, the FDA commissioner, has arrived at the White House for that meeting with [White House chief of staff] Mark Meadows," Harwood replied. "This is another case that he illustrates the point, Jim, that Mary Trump made in her book this summer, that President Trump has the emotional makeup of a small child."
"He cannot handle delayed gratification," Harwood elaborated. "So vaccine development is a legitimate triumph that has occurred on his watch, but he cannot resist the urge to try to corrupt that process for his immediate benefit. He has attacked the vaccine companies or the pharmaceutical companies for having delayed the reporting of their successful phase three trials until after he lost the election to Joe Biden. Now he is complaining that Pfizer's emergency use authorization has not already been approved, but of course there is a process, a scientific process, that governed both those phase three trials and governs the FDA's decision on the emergency use authorization. What does that involve? That involves decisions by career scientists looking at the safety and efficacy data and deciding it merits the emergency use authorization."