It was just 14 months ago that the White House announced its intent to nominate Stephen Hahn, M.D. to the post of FDA Commissioner. This followed another short tenure by Scott Gottlieb, M.D., who joined the agency in its highest position in May 2017 and resigned in March 2019.
Today, on the morning of the inauguration of Joe Biden, Hahn left farewell remarks on his Twitter account in the following thread:
“As I depart from the FDA today, I do so with great admiration and respect for the FDA organization and our 18,000+ talented workforce. It has been a true honor to have served as the 24th Commissioner of this incredible agency, and I will forever be grateful for the experience.
As a nation, and as a public health agency, we faced some big challenges and turbulent times over the past year, most notably those stemming from the #COVID19 pandemic.
Through it all, FDA employees have been critical in helping to respond to this disease with scientific advances like the authorization of the 1st non-prescription OTC #COVID19 test, the authorization & approval of an antiviral agent, & the first two FDA-authorized COVID vaccines.
To our FDA staff, thank you for your dedication and resilience – and for always keeping science as your North Star in everything you do. I will be cheering you on as you continue to carry out the mission of the FDA.
It is important that you keep doing what you are doing on behalf of the American people. Remember it is because of you that we are #FDAStrong. – Steve”
During a breakfast briefing on January 8, Hahn made a speech in which he highlighted the agency’s accomplishments over the past year, which included (on the CDRH side) the authorization of diagnostic tests in response to COVID-19, addressing shortages related to PPE and ventilators, and the launch of the Digital Health Center of Excellence.