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Biden says coronavirus vaccine 'free from political influence' as Trump administration pressures FDA for authorization

December 11, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

President-elect Joe Biden announces his choice for several positions in his administration during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Friday, Dec. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President-elect Joe Biden sought to instill public confidence Friday in a coronavirus vaccine that could soon be available, insisting that its safety and effectiveness is being evaluated without political influence amid reports that President Donald Trump's administration was pressuring the Food and Drug Administration for emergency authorization by the end of the day Friday.

(CNN)President-elect Joe Biden sought to instill public confidence Friday in a coronavirus vaccine that could soon be available, insisting that its safety and effectiveness is being evaluated without political influence amid reports that President Donald Trump's administration was pressuring the Food and Drug Administration for emergency authorization by the end of the day Friday.

Biden stressed that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which could soon receive emergency authorization use after it got the recommendation of a panel of vaccine advisers to the FDA on Thursday, was being evaluated "free from political influence. "

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn he needed to grant an emergency use authorization for the vaccine by the end of the day Friday or resign, CNN reported just before Biden's event Friday.

The news of Meadows' call with Hahn on Friday morning is likely to raise additional questions about the extent to which the Trump administration's political interests are involved in the vaccine authorization process and could undermine public confidence in the effort.

Biden's comments reflect the reality that while a vaccine could be authorized during Trump's presidency, its wide distribution is likely to take place after Biden takes office.

Biden has said his administration would distribute 100 million vaccination shots within his first 100 days in office.

by summa-bot

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