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The Trump administration is receiving criticisms from the public health specialists and the medical community because of politically appointed communications officials interfering with the coronavirus-related studies released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to Politico, since Michael Caputo, a former Trump campaign official, became the speaker for HHS last April, “there have been substantial efforts to align the reports with Trump’s statements.” The division pointed to emails and three people familiar with the matter. This report citing federal health officials received confirmation from CNN and The New York Times.
Last Saturday, members of the public health community shared their frustration due to the report. Infectious disease specialist Dr. Carlos Del Rio of Emory University quoted the words as “incredibly concerning.”
He also mentioned that the situation is very upsetting for the people working in medicine and public health and that the MMWR is a CDC publication’s landmark.
“I think that MMWR is still trying to get the information out there, but certainly now, I will start reading with a degree of skepticism.”Dr. Carlos Del Rio, infectious disease specialist of Emory University
Harvard University’s epidemiologist, Marc Lipsitch, said that the action is “outrageous and dangerous yet unsurprising.” According to Dr. Atul Gawande, a professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Harvard, political appointees “should have no role in scientific publications. None.” Moreover, a biostatistician at the University of Florida, named Natalie Dean, urged the Trump administration to allow career professionals at the CDC to speak freely.
According to Dean, the United States citizens hear so little from the CDC when the pandemic has devastated the country.
The CDC falls under the responsibility of HHS.
“As the Secretary of Health and Human Services, I have briefed President Trump alongside the nation’s top doctors, and I have insisted that he have direct access to these doctors throughout the COVID-19 pandemic… He has always been receptive to the data and science presented by other members of the task force and me. President Trump’s science-based decision making has saved lives.”HHS Secretary Alex Azar