Hahn downplays White House meeting on vaccines

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn downplayed a meeting Tuesday with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, saying he was merely updating the administration on the COVID-19 vaccine authorization process.

Axios reported Monday that Meadows summoned Hahn to the West Wing for a morning meeting to explain why emergency use authorization (EUA) for Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine has not been approved faster.

Following the meeting Tuesday, Hahn spoke with ABC News medical correspondent Jennifer Ashton on Instagram Live, telling her that he was updating the White House regarding the EUA process. He added the content of the meeting was no different than the subjects discussed in their interview.

On the horizon: The FDA has scheduled a meeting for Dec. 10 to discuss Pfizer and BioNtech’s request for authorization.

He said the FDA conditionally “should” be relatively quick with the authorization process following the meeting, but underscored that “one thing we can’t do is promise something that isn’t deliverable because of an issue that comes up regarding safety or effectiveness.”