During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Trump has publicly pressured the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to accelerate its testing of potential vaccines and treatments for COVID-19. Even though top health officials “questioned whether the data was sufficient” to support expanded use of convalescent plasma as a treatment for COVID-19, Trump posted a tweet on August 22, 2020 bashing the FDA and said they should focus on speed. The next day, a press conference announced the granting of an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for convalescent plasma.
CREW has requested all FDA records on Trump calling for an EUA for convalescent plasma to be used as a coronavirus treatment as well as all communications on plasma between the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the White House.
Trump’s public pressure on the FDA, as well as the granting of an EUA for convalescent plasma despite limited evidence from clinical trials, has raised concerns about political interference in the FDA’s approval process for the treatment. The requested records will shed light on whether political influence has impacted the FDA’s decision-making regarding this authorization. If Trump pressured the FDA into authorizing blood plasma to be used to treat the coronavirus even though experts warned against approving it without sufficient clinical evidence, the public should know.