Hundreds of public health organizations blast Trump team's pandemic sidelining of the CDC

Hundreds of public health organizations blast Trump team's pandemic sidelining of the CDC
President Donald J. Trump, joined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, left, Dr. Robert R. Redfield, director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Dr. Stephan Monroe, associate director of the CDC, right, speaks with reporters during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Friday, March 6, 2020, in Atlanta. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

On July 1, several hundred public health organizations wrote a letter to Health and Human Service Secretary Alex Azar expressing—let’s say exasperation—with the Trump administration's continued stifling of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in particular, and resistance to competent, science-based pandemic messaging in general.

It is not likely to do any good, but might at some point serve as yet another historical reminder of just how obvious it was to near-on every health expert in America that the Trump team’s handling of the pandemic was brazenly incompetent—if not genuinely delusional.

From the letter to Azar:

"We are deeply concerned about increasing reports of resistance to evidence-based public health messages and threats to public health leaders and agencies. Such actions undermine the efforts to protect the health and wellbeing of America’s residents at a critical juncture when cases of COVID-19 are rising."

Translation: Your Dear Leader-fluffing is killing people.

"CDC’s core budget remains inadequate to meet the nation’s public health needs."

Translation: We are also boned because of relentless federal budget cuts. It’s killing people.

"We must amplify the unfettered voice of CDC, not stifle it."

Translation: No, seriously, you festering boil, your silence as Trump and Pence manufacture delusional reasons for not supporting basic pandemic safety measures is quite literally killing people. Your tremulous backing of Trump's "reopening" theories even as cases across the country skyrocket is causing Americans to die. You fine with this, buddy, or no?

The letter is not likely to have any impact. If Azar was not willing to comply with Trump's edicts and Pence's designated role as science-reviewer-and-stifler, he would not be there. A Health and Human Services spokesperson was roundly dismissive of the voiced concerns.

The exponentially rising pandemic caseloads in multiple U.S. states do not appear to be spurring the White House toward any noteworthy actions; it seems Republican leaders, in general, are still basing their hopes on the theory that the new caseloads will somehow not result in escalating deaths. Their reaction times are still on a one-month lag, responding to the numbers they see today without extrapolating what those numbers might result in several weeks later.

Until the people being infected this week begin to die in New York-level numbers, the White House and Republican leadership in general continue to presume they simply ... won't.


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