In a move that shocked D.C. Democrats, two leading vaccine regulators inside the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week submitted their resignations amid grown drama and internal dissension related to what some believe is a premature roll-out by the Biden administration of COVID-19 booster shots, as Politico reports.
Leaving the FDA with little in the way of fanfare, according to The Blaze, are Dr. Marion Gruber, director of the agency’s Office of Vaccines Research and Review and her colleague, Philip Krause, and while the administration attempted to characterize their decisions as retirements, inside sources suggest otherwise.
According to the Politico, the resignations of Krause and Gruber were directly related to what the pair believe is undue political influence in the determination of when and whether coronavirus booster shots are indeed advisable, and it is thought that their departures could be the start of a broader exodus of frustrated staffers.
At the heart of the difficulty, the report noted, is increasing outrage at the Biden administration’s heavy-handed approach to the issue of booster shots across the country, particularly as “FDA officials are scrambling to collect and analyze data that clearly demonstrate the boosters’ benefits before the administration’s Sept. 20 deadline for rolling them out to most adults…”.
Specifically, the confidential sources who spoke to Politico indicated that coordination between federal health agencies in regard to boosters is essentially nonexistent and that scientists at the FDA have not had an opportunity to provide input on the wisdom, or even the necessity, of the booster plan touted by Biden in recent weeks.
According to Fox News contributor Dr. Mark Siegel, the resignations as well as the mounting unrest within the FDA over the issue of boosters as well as over what some view as undue political pressure for the agency to approve vaccines for children ages 5-11 have “created a mess for the administration.”
The conflicts, Siegel noted, are leading to a messaging muddle that is likely to undermine what is, in some segments of the population, shaky confidence in advice being promulgated by supposed public health experts.
“It’s a combination of things where the messaging is coming out of the White House and not of the FDA, and also out of the NIH with Tony Fancy and Dr. Francis Collins has said, ‘Hey, we might have the vaccines for the 5 to 11 year olds in a couple of months’ … well, FDA hasn’t reviewed the data yet,”
Adding to the sense of mass confusion, said Siegel, is the fact that “with the boosters, the president himself said, ‘We’re going to get boosters in a month,’ and the FDA says, ‘Wait, we haven’t reviewed the data yet.’”