“Now we're being too general. Before it was too much specificity. We continue to get mixed messages from the White House,” the official said, referring to the White House blocking the release of CDC guidelines for reopening. “We are allowed to release what they allow us to release.”
The White House repeatedly showed what the official Team Trump view of science and the CDC in the lead-up to the coronavirus pandemic hitting the United States, from ignoring the warning of a 2018 conference commemorating the 1918 Spanish flu to offering a plan to cut the CDC's budget even as COVID-19 spread in China to having already slashed global pandemic response funding to clamping down on an official who warned that “disruption to everyday life may be severe.”
In recent weeks, the CDC has been sidelined by the White House, but Navarro’s outright attack on the agency was an escalation. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar responded, when asked, that “I don’t believe the CDC let this country down.” That doesn’t mean the CDC—or public health concerns at all—will be given a central role in the Trump administration’s ongoing coronavirus response, though.
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