Trump claims White House can overrule FDA’s new guidelines

President Trump said Wednesday that the White House could override the U.S. Food and Drug Administration if the agency releases tougher standards for the COVID-19 vaccine.
3:12 | 09/24/20

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Transcript for Trump claims White House can overrule FDA’s new guidelines
Also tonight the coronavirus here in the U.S., more than 200,000 American lives lost and they're now predicting up to 23,000 more Americans could die by the middle of October and that's over the next three weeks. President trump is threatening to overrule the fda if he doesn't approve of the fda's tougher guidelines of a potential vaccine. Dr. Anthony Fauci saying tonight I would back the scientists and now the states this evening where they say they'll have their own review of the vaccine. Here's Mary Bruce. After touting the coronavirus vaccine by election day, president trump is threatening to reject stricter safety standards that could slow down its release, once again, undermining his own health officials. I'll tell you what, we are looking at that. And that has to be approved by the white house. We may or may not approve it. That sounds like a political move. Reporter: Tonight, four vaccines are in their final trials. But new rules from the fda would reportedly require drug makers to monitor trial volunteers for an additional two months. Dr. Anthony Fauci coming to the fda's defense. If they look at it and say we really feel strongly we should go this way, I would back the scientists. I would have to do that as a scientist. Reporter: Fauci said they may not need the additional monitoring, if the vaccine is overwhelmingly effective. But stressed if they go ahead with it, it is only to ensure the safety of the vaccine. To get rid of completely any further waiting for safety. I think most scientists would say no, you really got to be careful. Reporter: The fda declined to comment on the president's threat, but just hours earlier, testifying on capitol hill, the fda commissioner was adamant -- they are being guided by science, not politics. Our thorough review processes and science will guide our decisions. Fda will not permit any pressure from anyone to change that. Reporter: A vaccine could be authorized as early as next month, but widely distributed until next spring. With concerns that the white house is increasingly injecting politics into the pandemic response, New York today announced it's going to conduct its own review of any vaccine. Frankly, I'm not going to trust the federal government's opinion, and I wouldn't recommend to new yorkers, based on the federal government's opinion. Reporter: Tonight, at least five other states and Washington, D.C., have also said they would conduct their own evaluations before distributing a vaccine. With 202,000 Americans now dead, and officials predicting up to up to 23,000 more dead by mid-october and now we're learning about a large study out of Houston not peer reviewed saying the virus mutated and could be more contagious and so far there's no evidence it's more deadly. Potentially a more contagious strain, but no evidence that it's more deadly. Mary Bruce, amid this talk and the latest headlines that the president is threatening to overrule the fda's stricter guidelines with a vaccine and Americans are growing increasingly skeptical about all of this. Reporter: In fact, David, one recent poll shows a significant drop in the percentage of Americans who say they would definitely or probably get a vaccine. Down 21% since back in may, now roughly half of Americans say they would probably take a vaccine and roughly half say they will not. David? Mary Bruce with us tonight. Thank you, Mary.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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