Biden COVID Chief Jha: Parents Should Listen to FDA’s Scientific Experts, Not DeSantis on Vaccines

Biden COVID-19 response chief Dr. Ashish Jha said Friday on MSNBC’s “Deadline” that parents should listen to the scientists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), not Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), when deciding if they will vaccinate their young children against COVID.

Guest anchor Ayman Mohyeldin said, “Some big news in the fight against COVID. For the last remaining group of people eligible for a vaccination, the FDA today authorizing both Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines for children as young as six months to 5 years old.”

He continued, “Despite rising COVID cases in that state, Florida governor Ron DeSantis decided not to order the vaccines and to provide them to young children through state programs, saying that they did not undergo sufficient testing to make sure they were effective.”

He added, “So, today, in response to Governor DeSantis’s comments, the White House announcing that Florida doctors will be able to order directly from the federal government. How do you respond to Ron DeSantis at a time when COVID cases in Florida are rising, and he is saying the testing isn’t sufficient and he is not going to participate?”

Jha said, “Yeah, so, look, we have had a long tradition in our country of relying on scientific experts, external experts, the career scientists at the FDA. This has gone through a very rigorous process, and generally, we believe that political leaders should not be substituting their own personal judgment for the scientific judgment of the scientists. Then in terms of whether parents should be vaccinating their kids or not, we feel very strongly, the Biden administration certainly feels very strongly this is a choice left up to parents in discussion with their pediatrician and family physician and political leaders should not be substituting their judgment over the judgment of physicians and parents making an informed choice based on data. That’s the belief we have, and we have done everything we can to try to get vaccines out to Florida’s kids and their parents and doctors. But because of the decision of Governor DeSantis, that is going to be delayed. We’re trying to do everything we can to try to close that gap of delay, but it’s just unfortunate and totally unnecessary.”

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