Did the Trump Administration Pressure the CDC to Change COVID-19 Reports? Democrats Are Investigating

Illustration for article titled Did the Trump Administration Pressure the CDC to Change COVID-19 Reports? Democrats Are Investigating

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It’s no secret that Trump is a COVID-19 denier. In fact, I don’t think there is any denier who has ever been on the right side of history. Not a Holocaust denier. Not a 9/11 denier. Not a Popeyes spicy chicken sandwich-will-fuck-your-stomach-up denier. None of them.

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Now there are reports that Trump’s people put pressure on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials “to change or delay scientific reports on coronavirus,” after a Politico report found that there had been interference in the scientific reporting process.

“During the pandemic, experts have relied on these reports to determine how the virus spreads and who is at greatest risk,” Rep. Jim Clyburn, chair of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, and his Democratic colleagues wrote in a letter shared with Politico. “Yet HHS officials apparently viewed these scientific reports as opportunities for political manipulation.”

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From Politico:

The Democrats’ investigation focuses on the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports, the agency’s long-running series of scientific articles that researchers have looked to for the most current and reliable information on the coronavirus. Politico reported on Friday that Health and Human Services public affairs chief Michael Caputo and his scientific adviser Paul Alexander have pressured CDC officials to change the reports, in some cases retroactively, to align with President Donald Trump’s more optimistic message about the outbreak.

“The reports must be read by someone outside of CDC like myself, and we cannot allow the reporting to go on as it has been, for it is outrageous. It’s lunacy,” Alexander wrote to CDC Director Robert Redfield and other officials in an Aug. 8 email obtained by Politico.

CDC officials have fought the most sweeping demands and continued to publish the reports, but have increasingly allowed Caputo and his team to review draft reports and even compromised on some wording.

Democrats are tired of Trump’s fuckshit and are looking to move quickly to determine whether or not Trump appointees had involvement with the CDC reports, which have been published for centuries without presidential approval or influence. OK, maybe not centuries, but you get the point.

The panel wants all of the records. All of them. You hear me?

They want reports, transcribed interviews, and if a nickel bag gets sold in the park, they want in!

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“We need to hear directly from the people who are most responsible,” a Democratic subcommittee staffer told Politico. “We can’t afford to wait.”

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