- Over 1,000 current and former CDC officers signed an open letter criticizing the politicization of the health agency in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
- “The absence of national leadership on COVID-19 is unprecedented and dangerous,” the letter said.
- President Donald Trump’s administration has been criticized for intervening in the CDC for its political agenda. In September, the Trump nominee allegedly exposed CDC reports that were not in line with its policies.
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Over 1,000 current and former CDC officers signed an open letter criticizing the health agency̵
“We hereby express our concern at the ominous politicization and silencing of the nation’s health protection agency during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” the letter said.
The letter was signed by current or alumni Epidemic Intelligence Service officers from the CDC, including Jeffrey Koplan, who was the agency’s director under former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
“The absence of national leadership on COVID-19 is unprecedented and dangerous,” the letter added. “Inconsistent contact tracing efforts are limited within each state’s borders – while coronavirus infections unfortunately are not. Such chaos is what the CDC has usually avoided in its long history of collaborating with state and local health authorities on developing national disease surveillance and coordinated control systems.”
The letter comes after 62% of adults reported last month that they fear “political pressure” will rush a coronavirus vaccine, according to a new poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Last month, Politico reported an email suggesting that Trump administration officials delayed CDC reports that went against the president’s political stance. Earlier this month, the Associated Press reported that the White House was planting a political official switch to keep an eye on the agency’s researchers.
The United States has recently entered its third major wave of coronavirus cases, which experts fear could be the worst to date, Business Insiders Aria Bendix reported. The United States has so far registered a total of over 8 million cases and over 200,000 deaths, according to John Hopkins University.