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John Wagner No Longer Heading FDA Office of External Affairs

Departure comes after mishandling of an announcement about experimental therapy for COVID-19

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THURSDAY, Sept. 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For the second time in days, a Trump appointee to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been let go.

John Wagner, who was appointed earlier this summer, no longer heads the agency's office of external affairs, an FDA spokesperson told the Associated Press. Wagner's departure comes after the FDA's mishandling of an announcement about an experimental therapy for COVID-19 that harmed the agency's credibility with the public, according to experts.

Wagner's position will be filled on an acting basis by longtime FDA career official Heidi Rebello, who will oversee all FDA public communications.

A few days ago, communications specialist Emily Miller was removed as the head of the agency's press office, after just 11 days in that position. The Trump appointee helped coordinate the FDA's announcement about granting emergency authorization for the use of convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 patients, the AP reported.

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