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Former Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr Tom Frieden, speaks at a hearing on May 6 in Washington. Alex Wong / Getty Images

The former director of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said he believes the United States Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the use of plasma convalescent in coronavirus patients “was politically motivated”.

FDA Commissioner Dr Stephen Hahn admitted on Monday that he misinterpreted the benefits of plasma when he said the plasma treatment had saved the lives of 35 out of 100 coronavirus patients.

In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Dr Thomas Frieden called Hahn’s comments and subsequent apology “a major concern.”

“The main concern is that it appears to have been a political announcement,” he said. “The way it was announced, the title, the framing. “

Convalescent plasma shows promise, said Frieden, who is now president of the global health initiative Resolve to Save Lives.

“It can help some people if it is given at a certain dose, at a certain time of infection,” he said. “We don’t know the answers to these questions, and just saying ‘use it’ means that we may never learn the answers, or it will take longer to learn the answers to these questions. is therefore of great concern. “

Coronavirus vaccines: Frieden called the EUA’s plasma announcement of “great concern” because it is a “vacuum test” for the FDA and the Trump administration in how they will educate Americans about a vaccine. against the coronavirus.

Public health experts are already worried that a significant number of people will consent to a possible vaccine against the coronavirus.

“It’s a fail. The only way to get people to get vaccinated is to be completely transparent, and we rely on the FDA to be completely transparent about what we know, when we know it.

Different vaccines will most likely be available and different vaccines will work differently for different people, Frieden said.

“We will know something about their effectiveness, their safety, their number, who should get them,” he said.

“Basically people have to trust them (the FDA) or else the best vaccine in the world won’t be able to end the pandemic.”

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