The Food and Drug Administration's top spokesperson is out after approximately one Scaramucci at the helm.
FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn fired Emily Miller as the agency's assistant commissioner for media affairs and top spokesperson, according to emails he sent to senior leaders Friday. Miller just joined the department 11 days ago, and one of her first press releases contained an exaggeration regarding a coronavirus treatment that made it to President Trump's Republican National Convention speech, The New York Times reports.
Miller didn't have any scientific or medical experience when Trump appointed her, but rather worked for the far-right One America News and advocated for gun rights, Politico notes. But she was reportedly responsible for a Sunday press release announcing the FDA's emergency authorization of convalescent plasma as a COVID-19 treatment, packaging it as "another achievement in administration's fight against pandemic." Hahn admitted Tuesday he actually oversold the plasma treatment's effectiveness, but Trump still heralded it as a "powerful" treatment "that will save thousands and thousands of lives" at the RNC on Thursday.
The Department of Health and Human Services also ended its contract with public relations consultant Wayne Pines on Thursday. Pines told the Times he advised Dr. Hahn to "correct the record" regarding the misleading plasma claims. "If a federal official doesn't say something right, and chooses to clarify and say that the criticism is justified, that's refreshing," Pines said, and Hahn did so. Department officials claimed Pines' ouster had nothing to do with the plasma announcement, telling the Times it was already "reviewing and canceling similar contracts."
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