Raw Story: Former President Donald Trump’s administration is under fire for hindering the government’s pandemic response and rolling back Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) coronavirus mitigation guidelines in an effort to protect his interests.
According to CNBC News, the latest reports stem from documentation compiled during the House Oversight investigation launched back in September 2020. Based on the documents, the Trump administration is said to have intentionally suppressed COVID-19 testing by rolling back the CDC guidelines. from CNBC:
- In August, the CDC revised its Covid-19 testing guidance to say that people who don’t have symptoms “do not necessarily need a test” even if they were exposed to an infected person.
- The move was widely criticized by public health specialists and politicians, who said testing symptomless people is an important part of identifying and cutting off chains of spread.
- A House committee on Monday released newly obtained emails that indicate political pressure shaped the guidance.
To justify the scaling back of COVID testing, former Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) scientific advisor Paul Alexander argued there was little significance in testing asymptomatic individuals, according to emails obtained by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis. More from CNBC:
“Testing asymptomatic people to seek asymptomatic cases is not the point of testing, for in the end, all this accomplishes is we end up quarantining asymptomatic, low-risk people and preventing the workforce from working,” Alexander wrote shortly after HHS officials received an update about the CDC’s guidelines.
“In this light, it would be unreasonable based on the prevailing data to have widespread testing of schools and colleges/universities. This will not allow them to optimally re-open.”
According to the Daily Beast, another report — which would have highlighted elevated death totals in young people — was an area of concern for Alexander. Although the report was true, Alexander emailed White House COVID Task Force Senior Adviser Scott Atlas warning that it was “very duplicitous to damage the administration.” read more.