‘You Cannot Live in a Continual, Perpetual State of Emergency’: Former FDA Official

‘You Cannot Live in a Continual, Perpetual State of Emergency’: Former FDA Official
Rik Mehat in an interview with NTD broadcast on Feb. 7, 2022. (Screenshot via The Epoch Times)
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A former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) official said that the Biden administration should end the public health emergency and focus more on the treatment options for COVID-19, a disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
“The Biden administration has doubled down to reauthorize and reissue a federal public health emergency,” Rik Mehta, a former deputy division director with FDA, told NTD Monday.

“But they haven’t really added any scientific or evidentiary basis on why we are in an emergency, and many of us have been arguing—myself included—for a long period of time: You cannot live in a continual, perpetual state of emergency. It’s either an emergency or it’s not.”

On Jan. 14, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra extended the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency for an additional 90 days, effective from Jan. 16, 2022.

That’s the eighth time the federal government has done so since the public health emergency was first declared in January 2020.

On Jan. 31, the latest Monmouth University Poll found that 70 percent of Americans agree that “it’s time we accept that COVID is here to stay and we just need to get on with our lives.”
In January, England and Ireland ended most of their COVID-19 related restrictions. In February, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden followed in announcing or ending most of their COVID-19 restrictions. Some other European counties relaxed their restrictions as well.

Japan ended its COVID-19 emergency on Sept. 30, 2021.

“It’s all about fear and control,” Mehta said. “The fact that they haven’t reconciled this and the fact that they continue to keep us in a state of emergency means that they want us under their thumb. They want to exert control and they’re not allowing Americans to move on with their lives.”

Mehta also criticized the Biden administration for not putting in many efforts on COVID-19 treatment.

“It’s very disappointing to see that the Biden administration has not rolled out a similar operation Warp Speed for treatment options,” said Mehta.

“We see new drugs coming down the pipe that have over 90 percent effectiveness for vaccinated and unvaccinated people to keep them out of hospital and from developing serious infections.”

A double-blind, randomized controlled trial published in The Lancet in October 2021 showed that early treatment with fluvoxamine, an FDA-approved antidepressant, reduced COVID-19 mortality rates by up to 91 percent and hospitalizations by two-thirds.

“And now you see the FDA under the Biden administration cutting off access to monoclonal antibodies and other treatment options.”

On Jan. 24, FDA announced it is restricting the use of two monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19, saying data show such treatments are “highly unlikely” to be active against the Omicron variant.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called the move “medical authoritarianism.”

“We have to increase access to new treatment options that are available, allow for monoclonal antibodies, change the way we look at the pandemic to call it an endemic,” Mehta said.

“And most important: let doctors be doctors. They are at the frontline. They know their patients. They know what works and what doesn’t work. Allow them to prescribe off-label and allow them to treat their patients without government overreach.”

Mehta previously worked for Pfizer as the head of U.S. Regulatory Policy, Pfizer Consumer Health. Currently, he’s running for Congress in New Jersey’s 6th Congressional District.

The HHS hasn’t responded to a request from The Epoch Times for comment.