The news is out: [Four former heads of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday implicitly rebuked President Donald Trump, arguing the “extraordinary” efforts by him and other administration officials to diminish the public health agency’s guidance was contributing to a resurgence of coronavirus cases across the United States.
In an op-ed published in The Washington Post, former CDC directors Tom Frieden, Jeffrey Koplan and David Satcher, as well as former acting CDC director Richard Besser, fiercely criticized “political leaders and others attempting to undermine” the agency as it works to issue recommendations for schools seeking to reopen their doors for the fall semester.
“As the debate last week around reopening schools more safely showed, these repeated efforts to subvert sound public health guidelines introduce chaos and uncertainty while unnecessarily putting lives at risk,” the op-ed’s authors wrote, adding that while “it is not unusual for CDC guidelines to be changed or amended” during a multi-agency clearance process, “it is extraordinary for guidelines to be undermined after their release.”
The condemnation from the former CDC chiefs comes after the president last Wednesday disavowed the agency’s school reopening guidelines as “very tough & expensive,” and threatened to slash federal funding to schools that do not physically reopen.
At a news briefing of the White House coronavirus task force hours later, Vice President Mike Pence announced the CDC would produce “additional guidance” this week, while CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield maintained he would not alter the agency’s recommendations based on Trump’s show of disapproval.]
At this point in time, anyone is free to choose between the advices of health care professionals or Trump. Take hydroxychloroquine, shove UV sterilizer up the butt, drink bleach and Lysol, or wear a mask, wash your hands and practice social distancing. I know what my choice has been.