(Big League Politics) – Democrat Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia came out against Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) their ties to the pharmaceutical industry amidst the ongoing opioid crisis that kills tens of thousands of young Americans every year.
Manchin released a statement Friday opposing the Biden FDA nominee, Robert Califf, who previously led the bureaucratic agency during the final days of the Obama administration.
The West Virginia Democrat said that Califf’s nomination “makes no sense” amid the opioid epidemic still troubling America and wreaking “havoc on families across this country with no end in sight.” He also blasted the nominee for his deep-running ties in the pharmaceutical industry, which many argue has played a major role in creating the opioid epidemic and perhaps done so purposely.
“2020 was the deadliest year on record for drug-related overdose deaths, with 1,386 and nearly 95,000 Americans dying from a drug-related overdose,” Manchin said. “I have made it abundantly clear that correcting the culture at the FDA is critical to changing the tide of the opioid epidemic.”
“Instead, Dr. Califf’s nomination and his significant ties to the pharmaceutical industry take us backwards not forward,” the West Virginia Democrat continued. “His nomination is an insult to the many families and individuals who have had their lives changed forever as a result of addiction.”
🚨Manchin OPPOSES nomination of Robert Califf as FDA Commissioner: “His nomination is an insult to the many families & individuals who have had their lives changed forever as a result of addiction. I could not support Dr. Califf’s nomination in 2016 and I cannot support it now” pic.twitter.com/LKlyU5aHfY
— Jacqui Heinrich (@JacquiHeinrich) November 12, 2021
This apparently is not the first time that Manchin opposed Califf. Breitbart reported that the West Virginia lawmaker was one of four senators who voted against the cardiologist back when Obama nominated him in 2015. It wasn’t enough at the time to stop the nominee, with a Senate confirmation finalizing in February 2016 and Califf serving until January 20, 2017.
Biden nominated Califf for the position on Friday.
“Dr. Robert Califf is one of the most experienced clinical trialists in the country, and has the experience and expertise to lead the Food and Drug Administration during a critical time in our nation’s fight to put an end to the coronavirus pandemic,” he said in a statement announcing the nomination.
“As the FDA considers many consequential decisions around vaccine approvals and more, it is mission critical that we have a steady, independent hand to guide the FDA. I am confident Dr. Califf will ensure that the FDA continues its science and data driven decision-making. Dr. Califf had strong bipartisan support in the Senate in 2016, and I urge the Senate to swiftly confirm Dr. Califf so he can continue the important work being done at this critical moment.”