White House warns FDA chief to quickly authorize Covid vaccine or risk removal

Yet during a Friday phone call, Meadows pressured Hahn to move faster, hinting that he could be forced to resign if the FDA did not greenlight the vaccine by the end of the day, the people with knowledge of the situation said. The Washington Post first reported the exchange.

Meadows has played a central role in putting “immense pressure” on Hahn over the vaccine for several weeks, a senior administration official said.

Another person with knowledge of the matter said this was not the first time that a White House official has raised the prospect that Hahn could be ousted, and that Hahn left the meeting “focused and unphased.”

In a statement, Hahn called the account of the call “an untrue representation” and that the FDA instead “was encouraged to continue working expeditiously on Pfizer-BioNTech’s EUA request,” a reference to the upcoming emergency use authorization.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.