In another glaring example that Donald Trump does not give a damn about the American People, it has been revealed that White House staff members pressured the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to relax the guidelines for COVID 19 testing.
In reporting by multiple outlets, including CNN, an official said of these new guidelines:
“It’s coming from the top (the White House) down”
According to CDC Director, Dr. Richard Redfield:
“These updated guidelines, coordinated in conjunction with the White House Coronavirus Task Force, received appropriate attention, consultation and input from task force experts. We are placing an emphasis on testing individuals with symptomatic illness, individuals with a significant exposure, vulnerable populations including nursing homes or long term care facilities, critical infrastructure workers, healthcare workers, and first responders, or those individuals who may be asymptomatic when prioritized by medical and public health officials.”
Unfortunately, these new guidelines, while having the sound of practicality, would take away the emphasis on mass testing the whole United States population, even those asymptomatic that are showing no signs of illness.
Furthermore, in the same CNN article, Assistant Health Secretary Brett Giroir stated that:
“This Guidance has been updated to reflect current evidence and best public health practices, and to further emphasize using CDC-approved prevention strategies to protect yourself, your family, and the most vulnerable of all ages.”
According to CNN, no such current evidence was released to support these new guidelines.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House Coronavirus task force, was in surgery when these new guidelines were finalized. He commented:
“I was under general anesthesia in the operating room and was not part of any discussion or deliberation regarding the new testing recommendations. I am concerned about the interpretation of these recommendations and worried it will give people the incorrect assumption that asymptomatic spread is not of great concern. In fact, it is,”
Reaction to the New Guidelines
In the non-Trump Zone-Fox Island Reality everyone lives in, there has been a widespread reaction against the new guidelines.
The Big Cities Health Coalition and the National Association of County and City Health Officials sent a joint letter to Redfield, expressing their concerns with the watered-down guidelines. Excerpts of their letter (click here to read the full copy) include:
“As public health professionals, we are troubled about the lack of evidence cited to inform this change. CDC’s own data suggest that perhaps as many as 40 percent of COVID-19 cases are attributable to asymptomatic transmission.”
“Moreover, these changes in testing guidelines may have broad impacts on our ability to fight COVID-19.”
“While we are concerned about the data that was used to make this change and the impact it will have on the ability of our members to be effective in communities across the country, we are also concerned about the lack of transparency in both the development and rollout of the change.”
“Rather than empowering public health professionals and moving our nation forward in a cohesive way to address the pandemic, this abrupt change has caused confusion, consternation and undermined the credibility of the agency with public health professionals and the public alike. This revision and its resulting impact is adding yet another obstacle for public health practitioners to effectively address the pandemic. The lack of data supporting the change and the lack of communication about the change sows seeds of doubt in the public’s eyes and undercuts the dedicated career staff who are working day in and day out to support the response. This haphazard decision-making process is bad policy. It costs lives and livelihoods and impacts the standing of health officials across the country. Therefore, we urge you to pull the revised guidance and revert back to the previous consensus policy where people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 are encouraged to get tested, know their status, and do all they can to physically distance and stop the spread.”
Dr. Leana Wen, a health care columnist for the Washington Post and a physician who makes regular appearances on CNN and MSNBC wrote a column titled “The CDC’s new testing guidance is nonsensical.”
In her column (please click here to read the full version,) she wrote:
“The recommendations, issued without fanfare on Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pose a danger to public health, and contradict what we know about how to stem the spread of the pandemic.”
“One has to wonder whether these changes were made because the federal government knows it is still falling short on testing, and instead of working to increase availability, officials revised the guidance to justify why more testing isn’t needed.”
“It isn’t far-fetched to think this. Let’s not forget that when the CDC first released its guidelines on school reopening, President Trump criticized them as too strict, after which the CDC issued revised guidance. Then there’s the Food and Drug Administration appearing to cave to political pressure in authorizing emergency use of plasma therapy — even though just a few days prior, top experts including Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had concluded there was insufficient basis for taking that step.”
“The United States has failed in our response to COVID-19. This latest move seems to offer yet another example of putting political expediency over solid science. If it is not rethought, at the very least it should be explained.”
In reporting by CNBC, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo expressed outrage over these new guidelines.
“We’re not going to follow the CDC guidance. I consider it political propaganda. I would caution private companies against following the CDC guidance. I think it is wholly indefensible on its face. I think it is inherently self-contradictory. It is the exact opposite of what the CDC has been saying. So either the CDC is schizophrenic or they are admitting error in their first position or this is just political dictations.”
“Because the president’s politics are COVID isn’t the problem, we’re past COVID. It’s all about the economy, and the economy is doing great. We’re going to focus on the economy. And that’s his reelection strategy. So he’s using the CDC as a campaign rhetorical device.”
“Shame on the people at the CDC.”
According to the same reporting by CNBC California Governor Gavin Newsom has said he will not be following the revised CDC Guidelines as well.
Arizona Democratic Party Director of Rapid Response Tyler Cherry issued a statement which read:
“Arizonans need more testing, not less. Instead of coming up with a plan to address the pandemic, Donald Trump has sidelined public health experts, downplayed the virus, and put politics ahead of the American people. As a result, millions of Americans have lost their jobs, small businesses have been forced to close, and Arizona’s economy has been thrown into chaos. Wishful thinking won’t solve this crisis; bold, strategic leadership will — and that’s why Arizonans will be voting for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in November.”
Dr. Hiarl Tipirneni, the Democratic Nominee for Arizona Congressional District Six, tweeted:
This is ludicrous. It defies ALL medical data & further risks millions of Americans’ lives.
Politics must never be interjected into science. Ever. https://t.co/bWy17gwGQw
— Dr. Hiral Tipirneni (@hiral4congress) August 26, 2020
Dr. Tipirneni is right. Politics has no place when science, health, and life are concerned.
Neither do Presidents who put their personal needs ahead of others.
People running for office that feel differently like Senator McSally, Ms. Lesko, Mr. Biggs, Mr. Gosar, and Mr. Schweikert, who have enabled Mr. Trump and his science-denying posture since his first day in office need to lose to candidates that will rely on science and put their constituents first.
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