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Timothy L. O'Brien

Trump’s Vaccine Rush Redefines ‘Regulatory Capture’

Efforts to battle Covid-19 are being warped — again — by White House politics.

Undue influence?

Undue influence?

Photographer: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

We are still mired in a pandemic. A new record for daily cases globally — 307,930 — was set on Sunday. At least 196,000 Americans have died from Covid-19, and winter is coming. Yet the guidance from leading federal officials overseeing the push for a vaccine continues to be dangerously inconsistent.

On Wednesday, Paul Mango, the deputy chief of staff for policy at the Department of Health and Human Services, told Bloomberg News that the Food and Drug Administration will “approve shots before the end of the year.” That timetable, he said, along with existing contracts with pharmaceutical companies to deliver adequate supplies, means that the government can “vaccinate every American before the end of first-quarter 2021.”