I got called by the transition team on December 4th, and they asked me. They said that the administration wanted to reach out to me, the president wanted to reach out to me to see if I wanted to chair and populate a commission. And they wanted to make sure that before they made me an official offer that I was willing to accept it.
I ended up talking with members of the transition team many times over the next month and trading documents about what the commission would look like. I was told the president-elect would call me over Christmas, he ended up calling me on January 4th. We talked for 20 minutes on the phone; he asked me to come in on January 10th to talk to him and I spent an hour talking to him that day. He said he knew many people who had been, he thought, and who believed their children had been injured by vaccines. And he wanted to make sure we had the safest vaccines and we had a regulatory process with integrity. They instructed me at that time – members of the staff – to talk to members of the press about what we had said. Since then, an hour later, it had been walked back.
I’ve been contacted three times by the administration since then, and they tell me that they’re still going forward with a commission. I don’t know what’s going to happen, and I think what happens in the administration sounds very obscure to anybody. But all I can say is to tell you what the president told me.
He specifically told me that he knew that the pharmaceutical industry was going to cause uproar about this and was going to try to make him back down, and he said, “I’m not gonna back down. They tried during the campaign, and I didn’t back down then. And I’m not gonna back down.” (boldface mine)
But I can’t tell you what’s gonna happen. All I can tell you is I will be here fighting this issue whatever happens.