Clashes between President Biden’s White House and the administration’s own experts over COVID-19 booster shots are threatening to undermine a key Biden campaign promise: that he would always “follow the science.”
The president promised in July 2020 that he would “[l]isten to the experts and follow the science.”
“Let’s set the partisanship aside. Let’s end the politics. Let’s follow the science,” he wrote in a November 2020 tweet.
But internal administration battles call into question whether the president is following the science or leading it.
Two senior officials at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are reportedly leaving over the Biden administration’s efforts to promote and urge booster shots before their own scientists have signed off on them.
Additionally, the White House and the FDA are also reportedly clashing with officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Biden and the FDA are reportedly accusing the CDC of withholding crucial data that would help shape the administration’s plan to push COVID-19 booster shots, according to a recent Politico report that cited several administration officials.
Two of the officials spoke about their frustration when senior officials bucked Biden’s booster shot plan by pushing the prioritization of shots for frontline health care workers and elderly Americans.
Weeks before, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky had signed onto an endorsement of Biden’s booster plan with other top Biden administration health officials.
Some officials are fed up with the White House’s timeline and vaccination goals, saying the administration’s expectations are not realistic and are part of a push to get good press.
“Science takes time,” one CDC official told Politico. “I don’t know how many times we have to say this.”
“The CDC is getting out what it can when it can,” said another official, who also remarked that the White House’s vow to follow the science was crumbling behind the curtain.
Another senior health official fired back at the notion that the Sept. 20 booster target date was forced on Walensky, saying the time frame was agreed upon by senior health officials in August.
The FDA told Politico in a statement that the agency’s “longstanding collaboration with CDC continues to have a positive impact on our nation’s public health.”
“Particularly for vaccines, our agencies have always had, and continue to have, shared responsibilities where FDA makes regulatory decisions and CDC’s immunization advisory committee provides clinical recommendations,” the agency said.
When asked for comment by Fox News, the White House pointed to the Department of Health and Human Services’ announcement on the booster shots.
The hurricane of cacophony surrounding the Biden administration belies a bigger issue: Biden himself is undermining his own promise of following the science by simply not doing so.
The two FDA officials — Office of Vaccines Research and Review director Marion Gruber and deputy director Phil Krause — are reportedly stepping down from their posts in protest of the Biden administration’s push for booster shots.
They and a group of other leading scientists recently asserted that the available evidence doesn’t yet support encouraging COVID booster shots for all Americans.
“Careful and public scrutiny of the evolving data will be needed to assure that decisions about boosting are informed by reliable science more than by politics,” they and an international group of scientists wrote, adding in part: “Widespread boosting should be undertaken only if there is clear evidence that it is appropriate.”
Fox News’ Kayla Rivas contributed reporting.
Houston Keene is a reporter for Fox News Digital. You can find him on Twitter at @HoustonKeene