In the week, America lost the battle against coronavirus, but the nation’s premier health agency guaranteed local officials that it had the virus entirely under control. It was in the third week of February. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s senior leaders continuously brushed off the call regarding taking coronavirus more seriously.
The officials dismissed concerns from Hawaii to Minnesota regarding their plans to control the outbreak through screening travelers from overseas who were filled with inconsistencies. State officials always worried that when the travellers return, even with no symptoms, they can spread the coronavirus. One case was when they refused to test one woman in California only because she was not an overseas traveler. Later, when she tested positive, the officials downplayed. In the same case, now it is revealed that they downplayed the fact, and it is proved that Patient Zero was the reason the virus spreading in the USA. Robert Redfield, CDC Director, went on national television seven times. Each time he repeatedly told that there is no threat for the nation, and even if there is, it is low.
He said, “Americans should move on with their normal lives.” But, later, the virus raced across the nation, local authorities and state started asking for help from the CDC. After the request, the $7 billion federal agency was established to lead the pandemics. Instead of providing clear answers, they always gave conflicting, confusing, and slow information. In some cases, they didn’t respond at all, according to the USA TODAY investigation. Finally, reporters reviewed 42000 pages of emails, including memos, and all are obtained from health departments. Apart from this, they have interviewed over 100 community leaders and public health experts. They have also covered former and current CDC officials.
It is revealed that there was severe scrutiny for gaining political pressure from the White House. Through records and interviews, it is revealed that there is a comprehensive look for CDC. It is entirely paralyzed by bureaucracy, and it has failed to perform its primary job consistently. CDC was unable to offer public health authorities the necessary guidance in saving American lives from the pandemic. Because of their failure, finally, communities were left to make their own decisions regarding the testing, reopening, and even personal protection. But, health officials didn’t sit quietly. They flooded the CDC with hundreds of emails and calls. But, unfortunately, many questions were unanswered. In some cases, the agency responded, but the answer was ‘you decide.’The state’s top infectious disease scientist, in Nevada, tried to call CDC, and she begged for a list of travelers who came from China. But, agency representatives didn’t respond, and they hung up her call.
ACDC official in Kentucky recommended allowing visitors to nursing homes since they may not get one more chance to visit their family. ‘Let people choose’ he wrote in an email. Now, authorities in over 13 states are questioning CDC guidance. The guidance was like the information s or scientific evidence put by them. In some cases, even CDC officials felt that their leadership is lagging response, and they told state health departments to look into and adapt academic studies or follow other states. In over two dozen congressional hearings, news briefings, and in other public statements throughput January and April, CDC was downplaying the severe effects of the virus. In other extreme cases, they even tried to undermine the health officials by advocating an aggressive approach to control the pandemic.
The agency even went far and edited the government science journal, it was in March, and they tried to remove the state epidemiologist’s call in Washington regarding the testing for senior assisted-living facilities. The CDC editor noted, based on the drafts by USA TODAY, “I want to be careful in promoting widespread testing.”Now, the CDC ultimately declined in making senior leaders available for further interviews. They were not ready to answer in detail for USA TODAY’s findings. In another statement that was emailed by CDC spokesman Tom Skinner, the agency says, “Now, it has entirely executed the mission in protecting Americans, and they have worked their best to support the state as well as local health departments with best and accurate information.” “CDC always took decisions based on data and science available. It was clear on the fact that, when the data about the virus is available, recommendations and guidance will evolve, and they may change.”
Health Officials told to USA TODAY, “The coronavirus pandemic has left us with unprecedented challenges. We are grateful for the CDC and its help.” The health officer in Washington State, Dr Kathy Lofy, said, “CDC was a great partner to us in the pandemic.”From the beginning, the White House tried to handicap the agency. Journalist Bob Woodward disclosed last week that, “President Donald Trump informed him in February that their administration already knew about the virus spreading, and they also knew that virus was spreading through the air. Compared to flu, it was killing people at a higher rate, but Trump always minimized the risks publicly.”Former CDC officers have one more thing to say. These are the officers who help senior leadership roles under both Democratic and Republican presidents. They said to USA TODAY that, “The agency which once commanded global respect now, completely collapsed during a pandemic and when communities were expected them most.”
Former deputy chief of a CDC branch, Dr Pierre Rollin, quoted on viral pathogens, “They looked incapable of responding to the pandemic and emergency.” He is one of the most renowned experts for infectious diseases. Now, the count is increasing, and almost 200000 have died due to coronavirus in the USA. If you look at the infected number, it has crossed 6.6 million. THE meantime CDC expects that more than ten times of the count have already caught the virus even though the number doesn’t show up because of their inability to solve chronic testing issues. There were no national plans to guide them, and authorities wasted months debating whether to make face masks compulsory or not. They were not clear when to open schools and businesses.
With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.