Fox News host shuts down doc who broaches concerns about ‘politics’ surrounding COVID vaccine

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A Fox News Channel host quickly shut down a Harvard-trained doctor who brought up concerns over the “politics” surrounding a new coronavirus vaccine.

During a discussion on the announcement by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer of a new vaccine to treat COVID-19, “Fox & Friends First” co-host Jillian Mele asked pain medicine specialist, Dr. Devi Nampiaparampil, about the pending treatment, but interrupted when the focus turned political.

Pfizer came under fire after its announcement on Monday as many, including President Donald Trump, questioned why the company seemed to have deliberately waited until after the US election to announce the results from its clinical trial.

“First of all, I want you to explain what this news means to you and when you think we could, perhaps, see an emergency use authorization,” Mele asked the doctor on Tuesday.

(Source: Fox News)

Pfizer raised eyebrows Monday on the timing of its announcement on the vaccine, which was developed with BioNTech SE, as the company touted the promising results which showed a 90 percent effective rate in preventing infections.

Just two days after Democratic nominee Joe Biden was crowned by the press as the winner of the 2020 presidential race, despite pending lawsuits and vote counting still in progress, the company shared the great news which had been expected for weeks. Trump had repeatedly promised a vaccine was coming and would be ready before Election Day.

Nampiaparampil told Mele that she was “cautiously optimistic” about Pfizer’s announcement but was waiting to see more data.

“But I do have some concerns about some of the politics involved in this,” she added.

The NYU School of Medicine professor pointed out how Pfizer delayed in reporting results from its clinical trials, a move that the president and others have criticized.

“Whether it’s purposeful or not is unclear,” Nampiaparampil said of the delay. “But what I think will happen is that the people like…the Trump supporters may have an issue with the vaccine because all of these results were released after the election, rather than before, when Trump was promoting the vaccine.”

The medical expert was quickly interrupted by Mele.

“The politics part of this conversation is definitely something that people are talking about,” she acknowledged, but then did not address. “I want more the medical perspective if you can of what this means for us.”

Nampiaparampil obliged, going on to note the “logistical issues” in producing the vaccine and its eventual distribution as well as how it will be administered and the cost involved.

As viewers reacted to the segment, the doctor took to Twitter to clarify and defend her comments.

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Frieda Powers

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