Enlarge /. Emily Miller of her "reporting days" at OAN in 2016. Miller recently became FDA Deputy Commissioner and Principal Spokeswoman, and more recently a former Deputy Commissioner and Principal Spokesperson for the FDA.
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The Food and Drug Administration has ousted its controversial spokeswoman Emily Miller after botched communications about the use of blood plasma as a potential COVID-19 treatment. This emerges from several media reports.
Miller, who only held that position for eleven days, aggressively defended FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn this week after grossly misrepresenting the treatment's benefits during a news conference last Sunday. In the briefing, President Trump announced that the FDA had approved the emergency use of the treatment, despite experts from the National Institutes of Health objecting and the evidence was too weak to warrant the use. Although Hahn apologized for his misrepresentation, the approval controversy continued, raising questions about the FDA's credibility and Hahn's independence.
But even without this fiasco, Miller's presence at the agency was controversial, raising further concerns that the traditionally apolitical agency was being politicized by the Trump administration.
The White House installed Miller, a right-wing activist, at the FDA on Aug. 17. Although she has no scientific or medical background, she has been appointed as deputy commissioner and chief spokesman for the regulator, a position typically occupied by apolitical officials.
Miller's previous work included directing communications for Senator Ted Cruz's re-election campaign and reporting for One America News, a right-wing cable channel that frequently deals with conspiracy theories and prominently supports Trump. As Stat News points out, Miller also worked as a columnist for the Washington Times, where she published articles with titles such as "New Obamacare Ads Make Young Women Look Like Sluts". In 2013, she published a book on gun rights called Emily Gets Her Gun: But Obama Wants To Take Yours.
Miller's appointment discouraged FDA staff, according to anonymous senior officials from the agency who spoke with Stat.
Along with Miller's fall, the Department of Health and Human Services also canceled a contract with a public relations consultant who, according to the New York Times, advised Hahn to apologize for his false information. The HHS told the Times that the decision to quit was not related to Hahn's statements or apologies.