White House presses FDA Chief to approve Pfizer vaccine by end of day

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has pressed Food and Drug Administration chief Stephen Hahn to grant an emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine by the end of the day.

Posted: Dec 11, 2020 11:52 AM
Updated: Dec 11, 2020 1:26 PM

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has pressed Food and Drug Administration chief Stephen Hahn to grant an emergency use authorization for Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine by the end of Friday or face possible dismissal.

The vaccine won approval Thursday from an FDA panel of outside advisers, and signoff from the FDA is the next step needed to get the shots to the public.

Meadows spoke to Hahn by telephone Friday, according to a senior official familiar with the call but not authorized to discuss private conversations on the record.

A second official says Meadows threatened Hahn's job. Hahn later disputed the characterizations of the conversation with Meadows, saying only that the FDA was working rapidly.

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