Just as President Biden was promising to unveil new federal measures for combating the delta variant next week, the NYT dropped a bombshell report claiming that the heads of the CDC and FDA had advised the White House to scale back its plan for booster shots.
During a meeting at the White House, they reportedly asked White House pandemic coordinator Jeff Zients for more time to collect data on the efficacy of booster shots, according to the NYT's sources.
Dr. Janet Woodcock, the acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, and Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, who heads the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned the White House on Thursday that their agencies may be able to determine in the coming weeks whether to recommend boosters only for recipients of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine — and possibly just some of them to start.
The two health leaders made their argument in a meeting with Jeffrey D. Zients, the White House pandemic coordinator. Several people who heard about the session said it was unclear how Mr. Zients responded. But he has insisted for months that the White House will always follow the advice of government scientists, wherever it leads.
In response to the NYT's questions, the White House said it's merely trying to "follow the science". That this statement is blatantly untrue shouldn't require too much explanation. Let's review: pushing for mandatory masks in schools, refusing to accept natural immunity, pushing for vaccine passports etc.
Asked about the meeting, a White House spokesman on Friday said, “We always said we would follow the science, and this is all part of a process that is now underway,” adding that the administration was awaiting a “full review and approval” of booster shots by the F.D.A. as well as a recommendation from the C.D.C.
"When that approval and recommendation are made,” the spokesman, Chris Meagher, said, “we will be ready to implement the plan our nation’s top doctors developed so that we are staying ahead of this virus.”
President Biden has said the plan is for every adult to get a booster shot eight months after you got your second shot, with the president claiming it wil end the pandemic faster. Of course, in recent weeks, more doctors have spoken out against booster shots, claiming it would be better for them to go to the developing world, to people who haven't received any jabs, that way it can help protect against the emergence of a new deadlier and more infectious variant.
And they're not alone: while Israel pushes ahead with its plan for booster jabs, the EU's equivalent to the CDC has broken with the Biden Administration saying this week that booster jabs aren't necessary. And senior officials at the FDA have also stepped down over their disagreements aboout booster jabs.
Advisers to the FDA are expected to discuss two key questions when they meet on Sept. 17 to consider a COVID-19 vaccine booster campaign this fall. The first: is protection from the initial shots waning, and the second: will boosters help?
By moving ahead unilaterally, the White House usurped the CDC and FDA's authority over these types of health-related calls, Reuters added.
"The recommendation shouldn't precede the data, which is what happened here. And that's why people are so upset," said a source close to the FDA advisory panel who was not authorized to speak on the record.
Take a look at this piece of 'news analysis' published by Reuters.
Shares of Moderna skidded lower on the news, as this is the latest sign that real resistance to Biden's booster jabs for all plan is growing.