FDA statistics scandal update

The other day we reported on the director of the FDA who got embarrassed after garbling some statistics at a news conference. At the time, I wrote:

The commissioner of the FDA might well too busy to be carefully reading the individual studies. I assume the fault is with whatever assistant prepared the numbers for him.

Paul Alper shares this update:

Two senior public relations experts advising the Food and Drug Administration have been fired from their positions after President Trump and the head of the F.D.A. exaggerated the proven benefits of a blood plasma treatment for Covid-19.

On Friday, the F.D.A. commissioner, Dr. Stephen M. Hahn, removed Emily Miller as the agency’s chief spokeswoman. The White House had installed her in the post just 11 days earlier. Ms. Miller had previously worked in communications for the re-election campaign of Senator Ted Cruz and as a journalist for the conservative cable network One America News.

Calling One America News “conservative” is an extreme understatement, or a misclassification, depending on how you think about it.

Also this:

Ms. Miller’s termination comes one day after the F.D.A.’s parent agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, terminated the contract of another public relations consultant, Wayne L. Pines, who had advised Dr. Hahn to apologize for misleading comments about the benefits of blood plasma for Covid-19.

The Department of Health and Human Services denied that Mr. Pines’s contract was terminated because of his involvement in the plasma messaging.

It was “100 percent coincidence,” said Brian Harrison, the department’s chief of staff. “H.H.S. has been reviewing and canceling similar contracts, so I had it sent to our lawyers, who recommended termination. This was routine.”

“Senior public relations experts” are fine, but at some point somebody’s gonna check the numbers. Otherwise the FDA’s as bad as Harvard.