Emily Miller
Emily Miller

Food and Drug Administration commissioner Stephen Hahn today fired chief spokesperson Emily Miller in the aftermath of the botched handling of messaging about blood plasma treatment for COVID-19.

President Trump touted the treatment as "a very historic breakthrough" when the announcement was made Aug. 23 just ahead of the beginning of the Republican convention.

Scientists criticized Hahn for overplaying the benefits of plasma therapy and for undermining trust in the FDA.

Hahn on Aug. 25 walked back his comments about the plasma, explaining that he could have done a better job in explaining the data about its effectiveness against COVID-19.

Trump-appointed Miller, who was a PR staffer on Ted Cruz's re-election campaign and a journalist at the conservative One America News, to the FDA post on Aug. 17.

Hahn plans to hire a spokesperson on an interim basis.

The ouster of Miller follows the decision of Dept. of Health and Human Services, parent of the FDA, to terminate the contract of Wayne Pines, who is president of APCO Worldwide's healthcare group.

He helped Hahn correct the record on blood plasma therapy.

Pines said he advised Hahn, a personal friend, outside of the APCO practice.

A spokesperson for the DH&HS maintains that the dropping of Pines has nothing to do with the plasma messaging.