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Trump creates new conspiracy myth : According to the US president, a "deep state" is preventing corona vaccine development

Health experts and leading Democrats have criticized US President Donald Trump for putting pressure on the authority responsible for approving a corona vaccine.

Trump's interference in the scientific work of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) endangers the health of all Americans, said House Chairwoman Nancy Pelosi. The FDA had to decide based on the tolerability and effectiveness of a vaccine, "not because of political pressure from the White House," wrote the Democrat on Twitter.

The epidemiologist Caitlin Rivers of the University of Johns Hopkins in Baltimore said: "A vaccination must be safe, effective and trustworthy." All three criteria must be met. "It would be a tragedy if politicians, for political reasons, jeopardized the one thing that could allow us to return to our normal lives," Rivers wrote on Twitter.

Former head of the US CDC health authority, Tom Frieden, warned that there should be no short cuts in the development of vaccines. The process must be transparent and rigorous.

White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany announced a press conference with the president on Twitter for Sunday evening. It is about a "significant therapeutic breakthrough in relation to the China virus," wrote McEnany. Health Minister Alex Azar and FDA chief Stephen Hahn would also attend the press conference. Trump usually refers to the corona virus as the "China virus". He has repeatedly blamed China for its expansion.

Trump had previously claimed on Twitter that hostile officials at the FDA made it difficult for him to develop corona drugs and vaccines so that there could be no success announcement before the presidential election on November 3. The representatives of the "deep state or whoever" made it difficult for pharmaceutical companies to get subjects for drugs and vaccines, he wrote on. Addressing authority chief Hahn, he wrote: "We have to concentrate on speed and saving lives."

Trump is running for a second term in November. According to surveys, the corona pandemic and the economic crisis it triggered could cost him an election victory. Trump had previously said he hoped there would be a vaccine around the time of the election.

However, experts have warned that any political interference in the permit could jeopardize its legitimacy and security. If there were any doubts about the vaccine, many people could forego vaccination, which would ultimately make the pandemic more difficult to contain.

[With the “Twenty / Twenty” newsletter, our US experts accompany you every Thursday on your way to the presidential election. You can register for free here: tagesspiegel.de/twentytwenty.]

FDA boss Hahn has repeatedly stated that the authority will adhere to its known and strictly scientific procedures when approving a corona vaccine. There is no pressure on the FDA to soften its proven criteria, he said.

Former FDA chief Peggy Hamburg told the Washington Post that it was "regrettable" that the president did not understand how the American health agency worked. Politically instrumentalizing the FDA is dangerous. "She needs to be independent to do her job without fear of retaliation," she said.

Fauci believes in vaccine by early or mid-2021

Several vaccine candidates are currently in large clinical trials with up to 30,000 subjects. If these are successfully completed in autumn, the supervisory authorities could begin the - normally time-consuming and lengthy - approval process. U.S. government experts, including immunologist Anthony Fauci, have expressed confidence that there could be an effective vaccine in early or mid-2021.

In the United States, a country with 330 million inhabitants, there are so far around 5.7 million confirmed infections with the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus and 176,000 related deaths. An average of 45,000 new infections are reported every day. (dpa, Tsp)

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