Donald Trump FURY: POTUS enraged by US drug regulator as UK approves Covid jab first

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The outgoing President is reportedly livid the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to approve the Pfizer coronavirus jab candidate, after he hoped the US would be the first country to green light the vaccine for use. It comes after the UK approved the vaccine candidate for public use yesterday, becoming the first country in the world to approve the jab made by the American drug company. The US has seen a resurgence of the virus in recent weeks, with 184,294 cases and 2,610 deaths recorded on Monday.

Dr Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the FDA, was requested to meet with the President at the White House on Tuesday morning.

Mark Meadows, Mr Trump’s chief of staff, requested the commissioner’s presence amid fears Mr Hahn would be fired over the delay.

But after the 90 minute meeting, the FDA reported that Mr Hahn remains commissioner of the drug body.

Mr Trump reportedly questioned Mr Hahn over why Europe is beating the US in approving the Pfizer vaccine, and pushed them to approve a candidate faster.

The FDA has been reviewing technical information on both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine candidate, with the aim of deciding whether they can authorise them for “emergency use” for high-risk groups.

While the drug body applied for emergency use authorisation on November, they have scheduled review meetings on December 10 and December 17.

White House officials are frustrated about the delay in approving, and were angered over Mr Hahn’s week-long stay in North Carolina last month.

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Mr Hahn has previously said that the FDA will not rush in approving a vaccine, asserting the body needs to “get this right”.

He added: “No one at FDA is sitting on his or her hands. Everyone is working really hard to look at these applications and get this done But we absolutely have to do this the right way.

“We will make sure that our scientists take the time they need to make an appropriate decision.

“It is our job to get this right and make the correct decision regarding vaccine safety and efficacy.”

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Kayleigh McEnany, White House Press Secretary, defended Mr Trump’s push for a quick vaccine approval.

She said: “We will never apologise for putting the fire under these agencies. We want a safe vaccine, absolutely.

“We also want a fast one because lives are at stake and a vaccine by the end of the year is key and paramount.”

But Mr Trump said last weekend he wants a fast approval to ensure it is part of his presidential legacy, and added: “They will try and say that Biden came up with the vaccines.

“Don’t let him take credit for the vaccines because the vaccines were me, and I pushed people harder than they’ve ever been pushed before.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed the news of the UK’s Pfizer approval, and indicated the NHS could start administering doses next week.

But he warned the news did not mean “our struggle is over”, and added: “It’s going to continue to be tough for some sectors – but until the vaccine is deployed our plan relies on all of us making sacrifices to protect the ones we love.”

The UK has secured 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, with 800,000 jabs set to be delivered to Britain next week.

Pfizer’s jab requires storage at -70C to prevent the drug from degrading, meaning it will be administered to NHS and care staffers first.

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