Ivanka Trump, other WH staff oversaw CDC guidelines, ex-officials say
"What is illegitimate is overdriving science," former CDC chief of staff Kyle McGowan said in a recent New York Times report
Former chief of staff of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Kyle McGowan and deputy Amanda Campbell revealed details of the Trump administration's manipulation at the agency during the coronavirus pandemic.
McGowan and Campbell, both Trump-appointed in 2018, were disaffected after witnessing the permanent discharge of science from the White House and the change in the CDC's news, reports the New York Times.
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Read more: CDC officials "instructed to destroy" records of possible "political interference" by Trump
President Donald Trump listens to his daughter Ivanka Trump (Photo by Jeff Swensen / Getty Images)
According to the Times, the White House insisted on reviewing and even changing the coronavirus policy documents.
McGowan and Campbell mediated between CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield and White House Budget Director Russell T. Vought with the White House guidelines, amendments and recommendations. Former White House adviser Kellyanne Conway issued changes on choirs and fellowship in denominations, while Ivanka Trump made suggestions on schools.
"Every time science collided with messaging, messaging won," said McGowan.
McGowan recalls the government's fixation on the economic impact of public health, with Vought often arguing that recommendations of social distancing guidelines of six feet or more are too burdensome to be enforced by companies.
"It is not the job of the C.D.C. to determine the economics of a guide," said McGowan.
"It didn't take until something in the M.M.W.R. that contradicted the message from the White House and from H.H.S. I was going to suggest they were scrutinized," Campbell said.
Read more: CDC shortens the recommended quarantine period of 14 days
Campbell was confident in the group of scientists it believes are the best at the time of the pandemic, but said politics was having a negative impact.
“What was so different, however, was the political commitment, not just from H.H.S. But then, in the end, in many ways, the White House blocked what our scientists could do, ”she said.
The exterior of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) headquarters can be seen in Atlanta, Georgia on October 13, 2014. Peace urged hospitals to look out for patients with Ebola symptoms who have traveled from the Ebola affected African country. (Photo by Jessica McGowan / Getty Images)
CDC officer Dr. Charlotte Kent, editor of the weekly report on morbidity and mortality, said she had been instructed to destroy an email revealing a Trump appointee intervened and called the request "very unusual". As she followed the instructions, she noticed that the email had already been deleted but it wasn't clear who was doing it.
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In February, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at CFC, told the American public during a press conference that life would change.
"The disruption to everyday life could be serious," she said at the time, also noting the "significant disruption to our lives from the pandemic". The press conference angered Trump when he contradicted their claims, saying, "It will all work out. Everyone has to be quiet."
McGowan agreed with Messonnier's earlier testimony, saying, “There's not a single thing she said that didn't come true.” It is more important that she tell the world and the American public what to, or should, prepare for they just say "everything is alright?"
He realized that the damage done to the CDC this year "will take years to be undone".
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The post Ivanka Trump, other WH staff overseeing CDC guidelines, first appeared on TheGrio, according to ex-officials.
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