- 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 stated.
- President Donald Trump’s administration has been criticized for intervening with the CDC for its political agenda. In September, Trump appointees reportedly delayed CDC reports that were not in line with its politics.
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Over 1,000 current and former CDC officers signed an open letter criticizing the politicization of the health agency in the US’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We hereby express our concern about the ominous politicization and silencing of the nation’s health protection agency during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” the letter stated.
The letter was signed by current or alumni Epidemic Intelligence Service officers of 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 confined within each state’s borders — while coronavirus infections sadly are not. Such chaos is what CDC customarily avoided by its long history of collaboration with state and local health authorities in developing national systems for disease surveillance and coordinated control.”
The letter comes after 62% of adults reported last month they fear “political pressure” will rush a coronavirus vaccine, according to a new poll from Kaiser Family Foundation. Last month, Politico reported an email that suggested 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 planted political official switch to keep an eye on the agency’s scientists.
The US has recently entered its third major wave of coronavirus cases which experts fear could be the worst to date, Business Insider’s Aria Bendix reported. The US has so far recorded a total of over 8 million cases and over 200,000 deaths, according to John Hopkins University.