“It’s been a step-by-step escalation in retaliation by HHS against career scientists throughout the pandemic,” said a current senior administration official, blaming HHS Secretary Alex Azar for the last-minute moves. “It’s a clear abuse of power by Azar.”
The rule would have immediate implications for half of the Food and Drug Administration’s six center directors — including those who oversee medicine and vaccine reviews plus tobacco policy — and a host of senior researchers at the CDC, the Indian Health Services and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, said four people familiar with the rule.
A senior administration official told POLITICO the move is not intended to target particular individuals or agencies.
“This is intended to be a good governance action,” the senior administration official said. “Congress did this through the 21st Century Cures Act with NIH. I think NIH was largely supportive because it would increase diversity or opportunity for certain…
— to www.politico.com