FACT CHECK: Image Claims Christine Grady Is The Acting Head Of The FDA

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims Dr. Christine Grady, the wife of White House medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, is the acting head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Verdict: False

Grady works as the chief of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center, not as the acting head of the FDA. She has no involvement in the FDA’s approval process for COVID-19 vaccines.

Fact Check: 

Grady has recently become a popular target for online misinformation. Fauci, her husband and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has similarly been the subject of false claims during the pandemic.

This particular post alleges Grady is the “new FDA acting head” while also attempting to link her to the approval process for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, marketed as Comirnaty, for use among people ages 16 and older in August.

Grady is not the acting head of the FDA. The agency’s website lists Dr. Janet Woodcock as the FDA’s acting commissioner. She was named to the position on Jan. 20, the day the previous FDA commissioner, Dr. Stephen Hahn, resigned, according to The New York Times. President Joe Biden’s administration does not appear to have announced a nominee for the permanent role as of press time.

The FDA Office of Media Affairs confirmed in an email to Check Your Fact that Grady is not an FDA employee. (RELATED: Will The FDA Not Authorize Or Approve Any COVID-19 Vaccine?)

Grady serves as the chief of Bioethics at the NIH Clinical Center. The Department of Bioethics “conducts conceptual, empirical, and policy-related research into bioethical issues” and “offers comprehensive training to future bioethicists and educational programs for biomedical researchers and clinical providers,” among other things, according to its website.

Earlier this month, Check Your Fact debunked the claim that Grady is involved in the approval of COVID-19 vaccines.

“Dr. Grady does not approve the conduct of any research protocol and she has no input into the FDA process for issuing EUAs,” NIH Clinical Center spokesperson Maria Maslennikov told Check Your Fact via email at the time. “The authority to issue emergency use authorizations (EUA) and approvals lies with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), not the NIH.”

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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