Biden To Nominate FDA Chief 10 Months Into Presidency

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Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
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Ten months after taking office in the midst of a global pandemic, President Joe Biden is finally nominating an official to lead the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

According to reports from multiple outlets, led by Politico, Biden will nominate former FDA commissioner Dr. Robert Califf to his former post sometime Friday. Califf, who served as the head of the agency from February 2016 until the end of the Obama administration, will fill a void left since Biden’s inauguration by former FDA chief Dr. Stephen Hahn.

Since Hahn departed in January, the FDA has been led by Acting Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock.

Biden moved quickly to put a director in place at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), announcing the presumptive nomination of Dr. Rochelle Walensky to lead the agency in December 2020. However, it took ten months for Biden to settle on re-nominating a former Obama official to his same position as the head of America’s top drug regulator during the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed almost 350,000 American since the presidential transition in January. (RELATED: Pfizer Expects To Make Up To $36 Billion on COVID Vaccines This Year)

The FDA is facing a number of key questions now as the pandemic rages on toward the completion of its second year. The agency is considering approval of two oral antiviral pills that could cut down on severe COVID-19 outcomes, as well as potential approval for monoclonal antibodies to be used as a preventative treatment for the virus.