Monday, January 24, 2022

Email details Trump administration’s fight with its medical experts over COVID advice

The Trump administration ignored the advice of medical advisers who were tasked with helping shape the United States’ COVID-19 response, according to an email released on December 17, by a Congressional Select Subcommittee on the United States was investigating America’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The findings of that report, highlighted by Slate earlier this week, included a range of concerns from former White House COVID coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Jay Butler, a senior official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both gave interviews to the subcommittee.

In a series of emails, Birx voiced his objections to an August 2020 White House meeting, which he characterized as a “fringe group” of people who helped combat COVID-19, including the then White “flock”. immunity” strategy was advocated. House Special Adviser, Dr. Scott Atlas.

In response to a White House request that she comment on Trump’s prepared remarks for the roundtable, Birx responded “best if it proceeds without my presence.”

He then sent an email directly to Vice President Mike Pence, Chief of Staff Mark Short, who was tasked with leading the coronavirus task force. In her email to Short, she calls roundtable members part of “fringe groups without pandemic, public health or grassroots common sense experience” and says that without masks and social distancing, “we end up with double the deaths.” As of now an estimated 500,000 vaccines are expected to be available.

Birx also declined to attend the roundtable, writing, “I’m happy to go out of town or whatever that gives”. [White House] the cover.”

She forwarded this email to Dr. Anthony Fauci, then-CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield, and then-Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn, with one line: “I just can’t.”

Documents released by the committee also details the CDC’s scramble to balance its advice with Trump’s announcements.

In a series of emails between Butler, senior CDC officials who served as the agency’s coronavirus response’s incident manager, and CDC staff, the organization recalled disagreements with the Trump administration around guidance for religious gatherings.

According to employees, the CDC was instructed to remove the language surrounding religious gatherings from its community mitigation guidance written in April 2020.

A month later, Trump announced to the press that the CDC would publish guidance for faith-based gatherings, triggering a scramble by the organization to create a new document that had been “approved” for publication by the White House, but In which there was a mistake, according to Butler.

Butler wrote, “The version we had to post tonight does not answer many of the questions we have been asked by the faith community and lacks many recommendations for other settings to reopen as safely as possible.” “


Butler said the version approved by the White House includes references to reducing lines, considering more services to ease crowds, suspension of choir and musical ensembles, considering virtual services, and “all of the face coverings.” Reference” was not recommended.

The back-and-forth between the White House and the CDC played out largely in front of cameras, as Trump said during a news conference in May 2020 after a visit to a Ford Motor Company plant that he discussed the issue of reopening . Church with CDC leadership.

“I said ‘You better put it out there.’ And they’re doing it,” Trump said at the event. “And they’re going to release something on churches today or tomorrow. We have to open our churches.”

On May 22, President Donald Trump announced that churches and other houses of worship were considered “essential” and asked governors nationwide to reopen them, although some areas remain under lockdown. During a news conference, Trump threatened to “override” governors who defied him.

“Governors need to do the right thing and allow these vitally important places of faith to open now — for this weekend,” Trump told a White House news conference. When asked what authority Trump might have to replace governors, then White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said she would not answer the principled question.

Following Trump’s announcement, the CDC issued new guidelines for communities of faith on how to safely reopen, including considering limiting the size of gatherings and holding services outside or in large, well-ventilated areas. is included.

In his email sent to a fellow staff member, Butler called earlier advice to religious organizations maintained by the CDC as “a very good public health document.” Parts of the email have been modified, but Butler refers to the CDC’s statement being replaced with the White House as “not good public health.”

“I am very upset this Sunday morning that there will be people who will get sick and probably die because of what we were forced to do. Our team has done a good job, only to settle,” Butler wrote.

Nation World News Desk
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