US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn has fired the agency’s spokeswoman Emily Miller, one week after he announced her arrival at FDA. But she will remain at the agency’s as an appointee.
A spokesperson for the FDA said, Miller will remain as an appointee at the agency, though it is not clear in what role.
Since, Miller has installed at the FDA by the White House personnel office, any decision to remove her as an appointee would have to approved by that office.
Miller had only been on the job for a matter of days, but had already created problems among career officials within the agency. She was involved in prepping the commissioner and the press materials for the announcements on the emergency use authorization on convalescent plasma, though its unclear if that is what ultimately led to her removal.
The FDA media relations director, Stephanie Caccomo said, “Ms. Miller remains an appointee at the FDA and generally we do not discuss personnel matters.”
Miller’s position shift comes at a time when the agency, especially the way it has handled messaging during the coronavirus, has been scrutinized.
Miller said in a Facebook post, “Will work nonstop to get information on Covid-19 tests treatments and the vaccine process communicated to people as accurately and quickly as possible.” She added, “I will not lie. I will not do anything that violates my personal ethics and values.”
Medical experts said, Hahn exaggerated the lifesaving benefits of the treatment and Hahn later apologized for how he presented the data.
He had previously said that the Mayo Clinic data showed use of convalescent plasma reduced the risk of death by 35% and said that mean if 100 people for coronavirus, 35 would survive because of the treatment.
But this was inaccurate, those treated with plasma containing the highest level of antibodies had a 35% of lower risk of dying this week compared to those treated with less-rich plasma.
Hahn said the criticism of how he initially presented the data was justified.
He told, he has never been asked to make any decision at the FDA based on politics.
The commissioner said, “The decisions the scientists at the FDA are making are done on data only”.