White Home threatens to fireplace FDA chief until Covid vaccine is okay on Friday: report

Stephen Hahn, candidate for Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, testifies during his confirmation hearing on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on Wednesday, November 20, 2019.

Bill Clark | CQ Appeal, Inc. | Getty Images

White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has urged the head of the Food and Drug Administration to resign if the agency does not clear Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine for emergency use by the end of the day, the Washington Post reported on Friday.

The warning prompted FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn and the agency to accelerate their schedule for the release of America’s first Covid-19 vaccine from Saturday morning to late Friday, according to the Post, citing anonymous sources.

“This is an untrue representation of the telephone conversation with the chief of staff,” Hahn told NBC News on Friday afternoon. “The FDA has been encouraged to continue working swiftly on Pfizer-BioNTech’s EEA request. The FDA is committed to swiftly granting this approval, as we noted in our statement this morning.”

The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

– CNBC’s Amanda Macias contributed to this report.

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