New reports show White House politicking trumps science in telling coronavirus decisions
Sep 18, 2020 1 min, 23 secs
The New York Times reported Thursday that a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation narrowing the scope of who should get tested for coronavirus was not written by CDC scientists, but "dropped" into the CDC's public-facing website by the Department of Health and Human Services.

And The Washington Post recently revealed that this past spring, the US Postal Service and HHS were working on a plan to send masks to heavily infected areas and eventually nationwide.

But the idea was reportedly nixed by the White House out of concern receiving masks could cause panic.

The new reports suggest President Donald Trump's comments to journalist Bob Woodward in the early stages of the pandemic in the US trickled down to the different agencies responsible to the federal government's coronavirus response -- that despite knowing the coronavirus was "deadly stuff," Trump "wanted to always play it down."

Whether it was purposeful or not, in both stories, agencies appeared to opt for more Trump-friendly strategies downplaying the urgency of the pandemic.

But the White House scrapped the plan, instead opting for an HHS program, Project America Strong, to distribute "reusable cotton face masks to critical infrastructure sectors, companies, healthcare facilities, and faith-based and community organizations across the country."

One administration official told the Post: "There was concern from some in the White House Domestic Policy Council and the office of the vice president that households receiving masks might create concern or panic."

"If those masks had gone out, and you look at the calculations, you model this on other countries, you see what has happened, and it seems like maybe 80% of the people who died could have been saved," Dr.


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