Global Statistics

All countries
196,712,916
Confirmed
Updated on July 29, 2021 6:18 am
All countries
176,404,166
Recovered
Updated on July 29, 2021 6:18 am
All countries
4,203,749
Deaths
Updated on July 29, 2021 6:18 am

Global Statistics

All countries
196,712,916
Confirmed
Updated on July 29, 2021 6:18 am
All countries
176,404,166
Recovered
Updated on July 29, 2021 6:18 am
All countries
4,203,749
Deaths
Updated on July 29, 2021 6:18 am

Trump team weighs a CDC scrubbing to deflect mounting criticism

Grand Jury Deliberations in Breonna Taylor Case Will Be Released

U.S.|Grand Juror in Breonna Taylor Case Says Deliberations Were MisrepresentedThe Kentucky attorney general’s office said it would release the panel’s recordings after a grand juror contended in a court filing that its discussions were inaccurately characterized.Breonna Taylor's family and the lawyer Ben Crump, right, said the charges a Kentucky grand jury agreed upon in the…

Video shows alleged ballot harvesting in Ilhan Omar’s district

Fox News Back to Top ©2020 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. All market data delayed 20 minutes. New Privacy Policy - New Terms of Use (What's New) - FAQ

A Once-in-a-Century Climate ‘Anomaly’ Might Have Made World War I Even Deadlier

(John Finney Photography/Moment/Getty Images) An abnormally bad season of weather may have had a significant impact on the death toll from both World War I and the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, according to new research, with many more lives being lost due to torrential rain and plummeting temperatures. Through a detailed analysis of an ice…

Sean Hannity claims Dems ‘put all their eggs in the debate basket’ ahead of first Biden-Trump showdown

Joe Biden's campaign has "put all their eggs in the debate basket" after the Democratic nominee kept a low profile for much of the summer, Sean Hannity claimed Monday.“I believe his campaign team – they are seeing what we all see,” said the “Hannity” host, who noted that the former vice president's campaign wrapped up its public events…

Tucker: Amy Coney Barrett ‘represents everything that made this a great country,’ so Dems ‘despise her’

Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett is causing an uproar among Democrats and according to Tucker Carlson, her happy family is what’s driving them crazy.“Democrats know Amy Coney Barrett’s life refutes the lies they have pushed on the rest of us for decades, [so] they must destroy her personally,” the “Tucker Carlson Tonight” host said…

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention campus in Atlanta. | David Goldman/AP Photo

White House officials are putting a target on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, positioning the agency as a coronavirus scapegoat as cases surge in many states and the U.S. falls behind other nations that are taming the pandemic.

Trump administration aides in recent weeks have seriously discussed launching an in-depth evaluation of the agency to chart what they view as its missteps in responding to the pandemic including an early failure to deploy working test kits, according to four senior administration officials. Part of that audit would include examining more closely the state-by-state death toll to tally only the Americans who died directly of Covid-19 rather than other factors. About 120,000 people in the U.S. have died of the coronavirus so far, according to the CDC’s official count.

Politically, Trump aides have also been looking for a person or entity outside of China to blame for the coronavirus response and have grown furious with the CDC, its public health guidance and its actions on testing, making it a prime target. But some wonder whether the wonky-sounding CDC, which the administration directly oversees, could be an effective fall guy on top of Trump’s efforts to blame the World Health Organization.

“WHO is an easy one,” said one former administration official. “It is foreign body in Switzerland. CDC will be tough to create a bogeyman around for the average voter.”

The moves are among the White House’s efforts to deflect attacks on President Donald Trump and place them elsewhere in the federal bureaucracy. Protecting the president is seen as increasingly important by political aides as the general election approaches in just over four months and criticism mounts from former Vice President Joe Biden, other Democrats and even former national security adviser John Bolton who say the blame rests squarely on Trump himself.

The efforts risk backfiring if they blame career health experts at the CDC whose warnings early in the crisis were dismissed by Trump and his top aides as fearmongering.

Juliette Kayyem, a former Obama-era Homeland Security official who aided the 2009 H1N1 pandemic response, said it can be valuable for agencies to revisit their performance following a crisis — but that there’s no reason to single out the CDC.

“When the history books are written about this crisis, is anyone actually going to believe that America’s abysmal performance and its high death rate was because of some bureaucratic impediment at the CDC?” Kayyem said. “The core of America’s problem is a White House that clearly was not pressed into action in January. And every flaw — from CDC and testing to FEMA and the stockpiles to the supply chain and the states — every systemic problem is rooted in White House malfeasance.”

The discussion is ongoing about the best way to revamp an agency White House aides view as distant from the West Wing — and filled with government career officials who do not respect or follow the Trump agenda.

No single plan for tweaking the CDC has gained traction inside the administration, and the time frame for any evaluation or audit remains unclear. One administration official said aides have discussed having someone inside the administration do the evaluation, as well as possibly bringing in an outside public health expert to lead it.

During a visit to the CDC last week, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar spoke with CDC Director Robert Redfield and other senior officials about how to move forward with the need for reforms of the agency, a senior administration official said. But the official said discussions are still in their early stages, and strongly disputed the suggestion that any evaluation of the CDC would amount to a scapegoating exercise.

A HHS spokesperson said the department does not comment on internal deliberations, and the CDC referred questions to the White House.

After this story first published, a senior White House official said the CDC was not being maligned. “We found a few inconsistencies in CDC data based on data that we’re getting from hospitals,” the official said. “This is not about minimizing the role of CDC but ensuring that the American public gets accurate and verified data.”

The CDC, with a staff of 20,000 people, has long served as a model for public health agencies around the world, with a global stature held by few U.S. agencies.

But even before the pandemic, Trump administration health officials had discussed shrinking the CDC’s purview — stressing to Redfield following his 2018 arrival that he should consider reorganizing and refocusing the public health agency.

The CDC had taken on a growing range of research projects and new areas of study over the past several years, they argued, a steady expansion that risked distracting from its primary mission as the nation’s leading authority on identifying and responding to infectious disease threats. The CDC later published a strategic framework that defined the agency’s “five core capabilities.”

In Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2021, the administration proposed a roughly 19 percent cut to the agency’s discretionary budget. This year’s budget plan also proposed to refocus the CDC on “its core mission of preventing and controlling infectious diseases and other emerging health issues, such as opioids.”

The coronavirus crisis — and the CDC’s high-profile missteps — have only strengthened the case for an overhaul, said a former senior official who was involved in those discussions.

“The thing to do is take a hard look at the CDC and say, what are the five things that they really need to do, and do it to the exclusion of everything else,” the former official said, adding that Redfield had agreed with the pre-pandemic concerns that the agency’s activities were too scattered. “People have been talking about back to basics, core mission.”

Redfield’s job is not in any danger with an election so close, but officials from across the White House orbit have zeroed in on the CDC as a major problem within the coronavirus response. The vice president’s office has expressed concern about the accuracy of the coronavirus death toll, while parts of the Office of Management and Budget such as the United States Digital Service have been involved in reviewing the data at the state level.

As the nation’s top public health authority, the CDC has traditionally played a central role in crafting the federal government’s response to health crises and communicating with the public. But the agency has assumed a far lower profile amid the pandemic, following a series of slip-ups that drew the ire of White House officials and hampered the administration’s early response effort.

Initial coronavirus tests developed by the CDC in February proved faulty, delaying widespread plans to screen for the virus and allowing it to spread silently throughout the nation for weeks. An internal HHS investigation released last week found that the faulty test kits were likely contaminated at the CDC.

Messages from CDC officials early in the crisis, while in line with assessments from the scientific community, have embarrassed White House officials trying to contain the political fallout.

Nancy Messonnier, a top CDC official, surprised the White House in late February when she told reporters that a coronavirus outbreak was inevitable — contradicting top officials’ assertions at the time that the disease was largely contained.

In April, Redfield drew Trump’s attention after he warned that the country could face a brutal second wave of the disease come the fall — a statement he was forced to clarify the next day.

And more recently, the agency has come under scrutiny from the White House over guidelines for reopening schools and institutions that were initially seen as overly prescriptive, and from public health experts for conflating two different types of coronavirus tests in its overall testing numbers.

One administration official said the main problem with the CDC was with the data it receives from states about the Covid-19 death toll — creating a larger problem clouding the U.S. response.

“In Pennsylvania, if you have coronavirus and you die from a gunshot wound, it gets classified as a coronavirus death,” the administration official said. “If the data drives the decision making, you want to make sure you have good data. When you have different ways of counting things, it can lead to distortion. The audit was suggested as means to confirm that or disprove that.”

Read More

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Hot Topics

Grand Jury Deliberations in Breonna Taylor Case Will Be Released

U.S.|Grand Juror in Breonna Taylor Case Says Deliberations Were MisrepresentedThe Kentucky attorney general’s office said it would release the panel’s recordings after a grand juror contended in a court filing that its discussions were inaccurately characterized.Breonna Taylor's family and the lawyer Ben Crump, right, said the charges a Kentucky grand jury agreed upon in the…

Video shows alleged ballot harvesting in Ilhan Omar’s district

Fox News Back to Top ©2020 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. All market data delayed 20 minutes. New Privacy Policy - New Terms of Use (What's New) - FAQ

A Once-in-a-Century Climate ‘Anomaly’ Might Have Made World War I Even Deadlier

(John Finney Photography/Moment/Getty Images) An abnormally bad season of weather may have had a significant impact on the death toll from both World War I and the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, according to new research, with many more lives being lost due to torrential rain and plummeting temperatures. Through a detailed analysis of an ice…

Sean Hannity claims Dems ‘put all their eggs in the debate basket’ ahead of first Biden-Trump showdown

Joe Biden's campaign has "put all their eggs in the debate basket" after the Democratic nominee kept a low profile for much of the summer, Sean Hannity claimed Monday.“I believe his campaign team – they are seeing what we all see,” said the “Hannity” host, who noted that the former vice president's campaign wrapped up its public events…

Tucker: Amy Coney Barrett ‘represents everything that made this a great country,’ so Dems ‘despise her’

Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett is causing an uproar among Democrats and according to Tucker Carlson, her happy family is what’s driving them crazy.“Democrats know Amy Coney Barrett’s life refutes the lies they have pushed on the rest of us for decades, [so] they must destroy her personally,” the “Tucker Carlson Tonight” host said…

Related Articles

Grand Jury Deliberations in Breonna Taylor Case Will Be Released

U.S.|Grand Juror in Breonna Taylor Case Says Deliberations Were MisrepresentedThe Kentucky attorney general’s office said it would release the panel’s recordings after a grand juror contended in a court filing that its discussions were inaccurately characterized.Breonna Taylor's family and the lawyer Ben Crump, right, said the charges a Kentucky grand jury agreed upon in the…

Video shows alleged ballot harvesting in Ilhan Omar’s district

Fox News Back to Top ©2020 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. All market data delayed 20 minutes. New Privacy Policy - New Terms of Use (What's New) - FAQ

A Once-in-a-Century Climate ‘Anomaly’ Might Have Made World War I Even Deadlier

(John Finney Photography/Moment/Getty Images) An abnormally bad season of weather may have had a significant impact on the death toll from both World War I and the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, according to new research, with many more lives being lost due to torrential rain and plummeting temperatures. Through a detailed analysis of an ice…