This week, The Guardian reported on a growing concern the Trump administration may be pressuring government agencies including the FDA to approve a COVID-19 vaccine in time for the US election.
The article cites the unusual step taken by the FDA in April when the agency issued "an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to permit the emergency use of hydroxychloroquine sulfate...to treat adults and adolescents....hospitalized with COVID-19..." almost immediately after Trump's touting the drug as an effective treatment. At the time, there were already concerns about the drugs effectiveness and of the individuals who need the current stock of the drug for ailments not related to COVID-19. Trump announced in May he was taking the drug himself.
Unsurprisingly, the agency revoked the authorization last Monday. This decision was met with criticism from Peter Navarro, a trade advisor for Trump. According to CNN, Navarro lashed out at Fauci for questioning the use of hydroxychloroquine. Fauci is the country's top disease expert while Navarro is an economist and references his ability to discern studies as general saying, "My qualifications in terms of looking at the science is that I'm a social scientist. I have a Ph.D., and I understand how to read statistical studies, whether it's in medicine, the law, economics or whatever."
Operation Warp Speed (OWS) is the name given by the administration to an accelerated program to produce a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year for the US. More recently, the administration has been shying away from its earlier confidence in the timeline. This came after selecting five manufacturer finalists earlier in the month to complete the vaccine.