John Wagner
John Wagner

John “Wolf” Wagner, who headed external affairs at the Food and Drug Administration, is out as aftershocks continue from commissioner’s Stephen Hahn misstatements about the benefits of the blood plasma to treat COVID-19, which undermined the reputation of the agency.

President Trump in June appointed Wagner, who was principal deputy assistant at the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, to the post.

Wagner had served as a consultant at 2016 Republican National Conventions, developing messaging talking points and media engagements.

Heidi Rebello, a 14-year FDA veteran and the agency’s acting deputy chief of staff, has stepped into the position on an acting basis, responsible all FDA public communications.

Wagner’s departure follows the Aug. 28 exit of FDA chief spokesperson Emily Miller, who lasted 11 days on the job.