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Senate confirms Biden’s FDA pick despite political divisions

The Associated Press AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File In a file photo, Dr. Robert Califf gathers his documents as the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pension adjourn a hearing on the nomination of Califf to be Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Dec. 14, 2021.

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WASHINGTON — The Senate narrowly confirmed President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Feb. 15 pushing past a thicket of political controversies that threatened to derail what was initially expected to be an easy confirmation.

The 50-46 vote means Dr. Robert Califf, a cardiologist and prominent medical researcher, will again lead the powerful regulatory agency, which he briefly headed during the end of President Barack Obama's administration.

The FDA hasn’t had a permanent leader in more than a year despite playing a central role in the COVID-19 response effort. . .

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