The career scientists involved in the approval process will not be swayed by politics, former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday.
Why it matters: Gottlieb's comments come amid fears that the Trump administration has politicized the coronavirus response and is seeking rapid approval and distribution of a vaccine.
What he's saying: "I don't see it, and I don't see a scenario where this can happen ... where it's not readily apparent," Gottlieb said when asked if Trump could override the FDA and green-light a vaccine. "This isn't like posting new guidelines on CDC's website in the middle of the night."
- "In order to issue an emergency use authorization or an approval — the only people capable of actually drafting that package are the people at FDA, and they're not going to be forced to do it unless they scientifically believe in it."
- "I know the folks who are involved in this process, the career professionals who are engaged in this process, and they're not going to be easily cowed."
The big picture: Coronavirus testing czar Adm. Brett Giroir said a vaccine will likely be available to the general population at the end of the second quarter in 2021 "in an optimistic scenario."