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Former President Donald Trump slammed health officials Tuesday for halting Johnson & Johnson’s COVID vaccine amid blood clot concerns — and dredged up an old election conspiracy as a possible reason for the pause.
“The results of this vaccine have been extraordinary but now (its) reputation will be permanently challenged,” Trump said in an emailed statement.
The former president urged the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to end the pause as soon as possible. He predicted that those who already received the J&J shot would be “up in arms.”
“Do your testing, clean up the record, and get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine back online quickly,” Trump said.
The FDA and CDC recommended suspending the J&J shot earlier Tuesday to investigate reports of rare “stroke-like illnesses” in six women who received the vaccine. One of the women died and another was hospitalized in critical condition.
Nearly 7 million Americans have received the J&J vaccine, the vast majority with no or mild side effects.
The agencies said the pause would likely last only a “matter of days” and insisted it would not impact the overall vaccination effort, because there are ample supplies of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines which are not affected by the pause.
Trump mused that “perhaps all of this was done for politics or perhaps it’s the FDA’s love for Pfizer ... Maybe because their friends at Pfizer have suggested it. They’ll do things like this to make themselves look important.”
The one-time president went on to repeat his claim that that federal health officials connived with Pfizer to delay positive results from their COVID vaccine trials until two days after the presidential election.
Trump suggested that the FDA wanted to see him lose the election because “they didn’t like me very much because I pushed them extremely hard.”