Sen. Lisa Murkowski once again broke ranks with her Senate Republicans to help Democrats narrowly approve another far-left nominee for President Joe Biden. This time, Murkowski was one of five Republicans who joined 45 Democrats on Feb. 15 in support of Dr. Robert Califf as the new FDA commissioner. The final vote was 50-46.
Califf, who President Obama previously tapped to run the FDA in 2016, helped lead the charge to expand the use and availability of the experimental abortion pill Mifeprex.
Abortion activists lobbied hard for Califf’s nomination this time around, hoping he can further expand and approve over-the-counter abortion pills. Pro-life organizations, on the other hand, strongly urged the Senate to reject him. Some 50 pro-life organizations sent a letter to the Senate last month, warning that during Califf’s previous stint with the FDA the agency had drastically undermined the reporting and safety protocols for chemical abortions.
“Now the Biden administration seeks your consent to return Dr. Robert Califf to the top spot at the FDA where he will be asked to approve mail-order chemical abortion,” the letter noted. “With a track record of rubber-stamping abortion industry demands and with permanent authorization of unsafe mail-order abortion hanging in the balance, Califf is the wrong choice for FDA Commissioner.”
Califf’s nomination was also opposed by a number of Democrats who were displeased with how he handled the opioid epidemic under the Obama administration.
Adding to the controversy is the fact that Califf has served as a paid consultant to pharmaceutical manufacturers such as Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZenica.
Accord to a White House statement late last year, Biden envisions Califf helping to lead the nation’s fight against Covid, including the approval of more vaccines.
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“As the FDA considers many consequential decisions around vaccine approvals and more, it is mission critical that we have a steady, independent hand to guide the FDA,” Biden said in announcing his Califf’s nomination. “I am confident Dr. Califf will ensure that the FDA continues its science and data driven decision-making.”