White House considers CDC shake over Covid-19 response, report says

The headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia.

Tami Chappell | Reuters

The White House is considering a massive overhaul at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the Trump administration tries to blame the agency for the United States’ failed response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report.

The CDC will undergo a performance review, several senior administration officials told Politicians. The audit would likely highlight several flaws, such as the inability to implement proof of work in the first months of the pandemic.

White House staff have discussed reducing the CDC’s mission or incorporating political appointments, Politico said.

The goal, an official said, would be to make the agency more “agile” and “responsive,” according to Politico.

In recent months, President Donald Trump has been trying to deflect criticism of his response to the outbreak and may be looking for an entity beyond China to blame.

Since the outbreak began, Trump’s relationship with the CDC has been controversial. It initially dismissed the alarms from agency officials.

In May, Trump ignored the CDC’s guidance on how to safely reopen businesses.

Top politicians, including former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumed 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, have criticized Trump’s handling of the crisis.

The White House declined to comment on the Political report, and CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services did not immediately respond to CNBC’s requests for comment.

CDC has long been regarded as a world-class health agency worldwide, but the pandemic has intensified scrutiny of its operations.

The outbreak has spread to dozens of countries, with more than 9.1 million confirmed cases worldwide and more than 472,541 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States has had at least 2.3 million cases and 120,402 deaths, according to the latest counts.

Read Politico’s full report here.