Headline RoundupAugust 25th, 2020

FDA Commissioner Acknowledges Misrepresenting Convalescent Plasma Data

Summary from the AllSides News Team

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn apologized Tuesday after scientists raised concerns over his use of data to support an emergency use authorization (EUA) for convalescent plasma as a COVID-19 treatment. Hahn, who said scientists’ criticism was “entirely justified,” initially mischaracterized a 35% relative mortality reduction in a small subgroup of patients as an “absolute risk reduction” among all patients. The studies used to justify the EUA were also criticized two weeks prior by Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Francis Collins, prompting the FDA to delay the EUA. Coverage in left-rated outlets tended to focus on scientists’ criticisms more than coverage in right-rated outlets. Some coverage in left- and center-rated outlets called Hahn’s statement an “apology," and some coverage in right-rated outlets used words like “clarified” and “acknowledged."

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