Health Secretary Alex Azar Now Openly Plotting to Oust FDA’s Steven Hahn: Report
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has spent recent weeks grumbling over, and potentially plotting the ouster of, Steven Hahn, the head of the FDA, after he green-lit publication of vaccine emergency authorization safety standards that would have made it nearly impossible for a COVID-19 vaccine to be approved prior to Election Day. A half-dozen sources told Politico that, in several conversations, Azar has gone as far as naming potential replacements for Hahn. Another described the two health agency heads’ relationship as “broken” with minimal interaction. HHS and FDA spokespeople denied this charge, saying Azar and Hahn speak regularly. The sources, both current and former administration officials, said it’s part of long simmering tensions between the pair, whose agencies have publicly struggled to present a united front in how to address the pandemic.