MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell offered a rare admission and apology over what she described was her “editorial pitch” on apparent tensions between the Trump White House and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over the approval of a coronavirus vaccine.
As both Pfizer and Moderna announced it would seek emergency authorization from the FDA to distribute their vaccines, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn was summoned to the White House on Tuesday in what appears to have been an effort to expedite the vaccines’ approval.
During a panel discussion, Mitchell suggested that she was dismayed by what she described as the “unseemly political pressure” the White House was pushing onto the commissioner.
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“You’ve got Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff calling in FDA Commissioner, Steve Hahn, Dr. Hahn, calling him on the carpet. What is this all about?” Mitchell asked. “The Pfizer rollout and authorization of it, it just seems like unseemly political pressure on the scientists.”
NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker responded by reiterating the “question” both Meadows and President Trump have been asking, which was why Pfizer’s vaccine approval hasn’t moved more quickly by the FDA and suspected that the meeting between the White House and Hahn was “tense.”
Mitchell went on to further knock the Trump administration, telling the panel “you’d think… they’d understand that the markets go up with the vaccine production and authorization precisely because the scientists are in charge and the scientists are delivering.”
“People are suspicious and need to be reassured, don’t need to see former congress members, White House chiefs of staff pressuring scientists who are distinguished medical doctors,” the longtime NBC correspondent said.
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She then took a moment to acknowledge how much she editorialized her coverage of the vaccine.
“I’m sorry,” Mitchell paused before offering a chuckle while wrapping up the discussion. “That was my editorial pitch.”
TODAY — Pictured: Andrea Mitchell on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 — (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
While it’s been common in the Trump era for so-called straight news journalists to sound off against the current administration, it’s rare for any of them to acknowledge whenever they project their opinions in their reporting. Mitchell wasn’t this frank about her coverage back in September while reporting on the Abraham Accords that was signed by Israel, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain, something she declared “is not Middle East peace.”
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“With pomp and circumstance, the president is heralding the first Arab nations to recognize Israel since 1994,” Mitchell reported on NBC. “Both countries have quietly dealt with Israel for years, sharing intelligence against Iran, a common enemy.”
She continued, “But today’s agreements open the doors for trade, travel, and tourism. But it is not Middle East peace,” later describing how Palestinians were “abandoned by their Arab neighbors” and how they were left “powerless to do anything except protest.”
Source by www.foxnews.com