The Trump administration is reportedly considering an investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seeking to position the institution as responsible for the federal management of the coronavirus pandemic, Politico reported, citing four senior officials of the administration.
According to the publication, the assessment would involve more detailed scrutiny of state-by-state death tolls to potentially delay CDC’s official death count of approximately 120,000 people in the US. USA The administration’s aides also reportedly discussed narrowing the agency’s mission or adding more political appointments, 10 current and former senior Republicans near the White House told Politico, with the aim of streamlining the agency.
Some officials also see the agency as a potential scapegoat for the spread of the virus, but others say this message could be more difficult to sell than blaming China or the World Health Organization (WHO).
“The WHO is easy,” a former administration official told Politico. “It is [a] foreign body in Switzerland. The CDC will be difficult to create a coconut for the average voter. “
The first polls on the president’s response to the pandemic found that the majority approved, but disapproval increased in the following months, with an ABC News-Ipsos poll published Sunday that found 58 percent disapproved of his handling of the same.
Juliette Kayyem, who worked in the Obama Department of Homeland Security during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, said the agencies’ assessments of crisis management are helpful, but that there was no indication that the CDC was unprepared. for the coronavirus.
“When you write the history books on this crisis, does anyone really believe that America’s abysmal performance and high death rate were due to some bureaucratic impediment at the CDC?” Kayyem told Politico. “The core of America’s problem is a white House that clearly was not pressured into action in January.
“And every failure, from CDC and testing, to [Federal Emergency Management Agency] and reserves for the supply chain and the states: every systemic problem has its roots in the embezzlement of the White House, “he added.
A spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services told The Hill that the department “do[es] do not comment on internal deliberations. “