Bill Gates's feud with the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has reached new levels after he questioned whether they can be trusted to develop and produce the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States.
Both the US FDA and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) were in the firing line in an incendiary interview with Bloomberg in which the outspoken Microsoft co-founder claimed that both organizations have "lost credibility."
'Casualties of a presidency'
Bill Gates has expressed his belief that the US FDA and the CDC have been deeply affected by a presidency that has increasingly turned its back on the communities of science and medicine.
Bloomberg describes Gates as believing the two health organizations are "casualties of a presidency that has downplayed or dismissed science and medicine in the pursuit of political gain."
The FDA's bungled blood plasma treatment announcement
Bill Gates highlighted the FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn's exaggeration of the benefits of blood plasma as a treatment for COVID-19 at a recent presidential news conference, after which he backtracked the following day.
“We saw with the completely bungled plasma statements that when you start pressuring people to say optimistic things, they go completely off the rails. The FDA lost a lot of credibility there," Gates, the billionaire philanthropist, explained in his interview, which was broadcast on Bloomberg Television.
'Stupid' conspiracy theories and public confidence
If and when any COVID-19 vaccine is ready, the FDA will have to approve it before it can be delivered to the population of the United States. As such, Gates believes that the FDA's credibility could directly affect the population's confidence in and uptake of any new vaccine.
All of this could directly affect the ability of the country, and indeed the world, to end the coronavirus pandemic.
In June, Bill Gates addressed widely shared conspiracy theories stating that he is responsible for the coronavirus pandemic, branding them as "stupid." The Microsoft founder blames social media companies for allowing "falsehoods" to be shared online unchecked.