Under pressure from Trump, FDA lies about coronavirus treatment

The Trump Timeline

Sources linked at end of page.


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Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn announces at a White House press conference that convalescent plasma has received emergency use authorization as a coronavirus treatment.

The language of the press conference is less about the emergency use authorization and more promoting convalescent plasma as a new discovery, made possible only by Donald Trump.

The conference is also based on lies.

The most obvious lie called out by critics is that COVID-19 patients treated with convalescent plasma showed a “35% improvement in survival” compared to other patients. That number is impossible. A 35% reduction in mortality suggests that 35 people out of 100 who get the virus will be saved because of the treatment. Currently, only 1 out of 100 people infected die.

If 1,000 people get the virus, only 10 people will die, so convalescent plasma would potentially save three or four people.

“The press release from the FDA containing these claims was clearly a propaganda document written by the White House.”

David Pakman

Hahn admits the next day that he over exaggerated the effectiveness of plasma transfusion as a COVID-19 treatment.

“I have been criticized for remarks I made Sunday night about the benefits of convalescent plasma. The criticism is entirely justified. What I should have said better is that the data show a relative risk reduction, not an absolute risk reduction.”

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn

The announcement comes just one day after Donald Trump publicly attacked the FDA, accusing Hahn of trying to delay COVID-19 treatments until after the election.

Statements from the FDA about the treatment raised suspicion immediately.

“Convalescent plasma is a procedure. It’s a transfusion of plasma from people who have recovered from coronavirus, the idea being that transfusing their plasma into people suffering from the virus could be an effective treatment.

“The reason that it was suspicious from the get go was because there was nothing new about convalescent plasma, so Donald Trump making a big announcement and trying to pat himself on the back as if this is an achievement for him or for his administration… that didn’t make sense.”

David Pakman

On Friday, August 28th, Hahn announces that he is firing FDA spokesperson Emily Miller (as long as the White House signs off on it). Health officials tell Politico that she is the worst person for the job and can’t even pronounce “convalescent plasma.” That last part’s funny because Donald Trump can’t, either.

The FDA had also faced growing criticism over its hiring of Miller, a former reporter for far-right One America News. She had worked in Republican politics, including for Sen. Ted Cruz, and had become a prominent gun rights advocate, authoring a 2013 book entitled “Emily Gets Her Gun: But Obama Wants to Take Yours.”








Photo: Public Domain

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