It’s Califf: Biden Finally Taps Nominee To Head FDA
Former Food and Drug Commissioner Robert Califf is up again for his old job. President Joe Biden's nomination has been met with criticism by some advocacy groups, but news outlets report that Califf is expected to be confirmed.
Biden Nominates Califf As FDA Chief
President Joe Biden on Friday nominated former Commissioner Robert Califf to lead the Food and Drug Administration, in a move that would bring the Obama-era official back for a second tour atop the agency. The selection would end the administration's lengthy search for a permanent FDA commissioner and comes as the agency weighs a series of decisions that will determine the direction of Biden's Covid-19 vaccination campaign. (Cancryn, Lim, Thomas and Owermohle, 11/12)
Biden Taps Califf As FDA Commissioner
President Joe Biden announced Friday he is nominating Robert Califf to again serve as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. "As the FDA considers many consequential decisions around vaccine approvals and more, it is mission critical that we have a steady, independent hand to guide the FDA," said Biden in a statement. "I am confident Dr. Califf will ensure that the FDA continues its science and data drive decision-making." Califf, who previously helmed the FDA in the final year of the Obama administration, is seen as a status quo choice. (Kopp, 11/12)
Biden Taps Califf To Head FDA, Where He Has Unfinished Business
Robert Califf, President Biden’s new pick to lead the Food and Drug Administration, doesn’t have much to show for his first tenure at the agency. His grand plans for modernizing the way drug makers and the FDA collect patient data were shelved in 2017 after he left the agency’s top spot. His efforts to ban flavored tobacco products were foiled by the Obama White House. Even his push to finally fix the FDA’s hiring woes still hasn’t been fully implemented. Now Califf, who Biden formally tapped on Friday to retake the FDA’s top job, will have another shot at delivering on those promises. (Florko, 11/12)
On the job Califf faces —
The Road Ahead For Biden's FDA Nominee Robert Califf
It's taken about 10 months for President Biden to name a nominee for the role of permanent FDA commissioner — former FDA chief Robert Califf — and it's unlikely his confirmation will be complete before the end of 2021. The agency has been without a Senate-approved commissioner for nearly a year, all while playing a central role in the response to the ongoing COVID pandemic. (Fernandez and Reed, 11/15)
In news on the federal covid response —
Deese Stresses Need To 'Finish Job On COVID'
White House National Economic Director Brian Deese said on Sunday that officials need to "finish the job on COVID" before the long-term impact of the Biden administration's economic policies can be felt. During an appearance on ABC's "This Week," Deese was asked what the Biden administration can do to help families while the Democrats' social spending bill is debated. "I know you're hoping to pass it, but even if it does pass, it's going to take a while for the benefits to kick in. So what can Americans expect in the short term? Is inflation going to get worse before it gets better?" host George Stephanopoulos asked. (Rai, 11/14)
Dr. Anthony Fauci: "I Didn't Create Political Divisiveness"
A case can be made that no one over the past 20 months has been more involved and more visible in the battle against COVID-19 than Dr. Anthony Fauci. More than 30 years ago, Fauci was being demonized by AIDS activists for not doing enough. These days the ranks of Fauci critics have multiplied. But if anything in this age of COVID, the charge now is that Fauci has done too much. (11/14)
Psaki Takes Shot At Aaron Rodgers: We're Against 'Misinformation'
Press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday the White House is against misinformation when asked about celebrities, such as NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who have refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19. “You know how we feel about misinformation — we're against it,” Psaki said when asked by a reporter if she had anything to say to people, such as the Green Bay Packers star, who have promoted “dubious alternatives to vaccines.” (Gangitano, 11/12)
The Washington Post:
Messonnier, Birx Detail Political Interference In Last Year’s Coronavirus Response
The Trump administration repeatedly interfered with efforts by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year to issue warnings and guidance about the evolving coronavirus pandemic, six current and former health officials told congressional investigators in recent interviews. One of those officials, former CDC senior health expert Nancy Messonnier, warned in a Feb. 25, 2020, news briefing that the virus’s spread in the United States was inevitable — a statement that prompted anger from President Donald Trump and led to the agency’s media appearances being curtailed, according to interview excerpts and other documents released Friday by the House select subcommittee on the pandemic. (Diamond, 11/12)
Trump CDC Official: No 'Public Health Reason' For Border Closure, Title 42
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials felt evidence “did not support” former President Trump’s decision to close the border and that the move “wasn’t based on a public health assessment at the time,” the CDC’s Trump-era deputy director told congressional investigators. Anne Schuchat’s comments, released Friday as part of a congressional select committee review of the U.S.'s coronavirus response, confirms reporting that CDC officials saw little public health rationale for Title 42, which allows for swift expulsion at the border and denies migrants the chance to seek asylum. (Beitsch, 11/12)
The Washington Post:
Americans More Critical Of Biden’s Pandemic Response, Post-ABC Poll Finds
Americans’ approval of President Biden’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic – one of his most positive assets early in his presidency – has continued on a downward trend in recent months, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found. This tracks with the trajectory of the public health crisis that seemed to be easing this summer, but roared back to life with the spread of the more-contagious delta variant and plateauing vaccination rates in some areas. (Pannett and Timsit, 11/15)