Report: WH Repeatedly Denied CDC Permission To Hold Public COVID Briefings

CDC director Robert RedfieldScreengrab / Bloomberg Markets and Finance / YouTube


The CDC “slowly but surely took a backseat to the coronavirus task force.”

According to Business Insider, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was “denied permission by the White House to brief the public about the coronavirus crisis.”

  • Earlier in the year the CDC “had given frequent briefings on the pandemic. But then it fell abruptly silent, with no public briefings held between March 9 and June 12,” Business Insider said.
  • A CDC spokesperson told Yahoo News, “We continued to ask for approval” from the White House to hold briefings, but “we were not given approval. Finally, we just stopped asking.”

“The CDC is not being allowed to speak,” Dr. Thomas Frieden, who led the CDC during the Obama administration, told Yahoo News in May. “It is just inconceivable that for more than two months, the best public health agency in the world has been prohibited from speaking to Americans.”

  • A coronavirus task force member told Yahoo that “the CDC was too concerned with its own stature, and an interagency response to the crisis was required,” Business Insider reported. “The CDC feels like they should be in charge of this,” added the White House official.
  • Trump began to “play an increasingly central role in the briefings, which later were canceled after he touted injecting disinfectant as a coronavirus treatment, drawing astonishment and criticism,” the report continued.

Amid the recent surge in new cases, the Trump administration “is considering scapegoating the agency for the US’ faltering response to the crisis, administration sources told Politico in June.”

Read the full report here.


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