She said that as a mother, she wants to be sure that any drug or test used in Canada has been approved by regulators without “political interference or pressure”. The independence of regulators to make their own careful medical assessment is more important than ever during the global pandemic, Freeland added.
More on the FDA backstory: Trump also suggested on Wednesday that the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to tighten its guidelines “was more than anything a political move.”
Trump has tried to reassure Americans by suggesting that a coronavirus vaccine will be available before they vote on election day. However, top experts have said that it is very unlikely that a shot will be ready by then.
Other political pressure concerns: Two major science academies warned Thursday of cases of political interference.
“We find ongoing reports and incidents of the politicization of science, particularly the overwriting of evidence and advice from public health officials and the mockery of government scientists, alarming,” wrote the Presidents of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine. “It undermines the credibility of health officials and the public’s trust in them when we need it most.”
More on the Canadian approach: Freeland, longtime Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s minister for US-Canada relations, said the Liberal government had been working to get pre-sale deals on drugs, tests and vaccines.
“We need to be ready to source and source new technology, new tests, new vaccines and new therapeutics once they get the good housekeeping seal of approval from Canadian regulators,” Freeland said after being asked what Canada would approve fast Covid-19 test kits.
Access to testing and concerns about the lack of speed in getting results were a major concern for Canadians months into the pandemic. Much of Canada, Trudeau warned Wednesday, has entered the second wave.