Why it matters: The meeting is shaping up to be tense, with Hahn using what the White House will likely view as kamikaze language in a preemptive statement to Axios: “Let me be clear — our career scientists have to make the decision and they will take the time that’s needed to make the right call on this important decision.”
What they’re saying: A senior administration official said that in mid-November, Hahn spent a week vacationing in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and the official expected this subject would be discussed…
An FDA spokesperson denied Hahn was vacationing and responded: “On the point about Dr. Hahn’s recent remote work schedule, Dr. Hahn was recently exposed to COVID while working at the FDA’s White Oak campus. Dr. Hahn chose a remote location to quarantine and he continued working, as he has done throughout the pandemic. Dr. Hahn has worked every single day of this pandemic, including weekends, holidays and more.”
When Meadows requested the meeting, Hahn said he wanted to do it over the telephone. Meadows insisted it be in person.