On Tuesday, writing for The Washington Post, four former directors of the Centers for Disease Control spoke up in favor of public health guidelines protecting people in the coronavirus pandemic — and without directly mentioning President Donald Trump by name, criticized his assault on the science.
“The CDC is home to thousands of experts who for decades have fought deadly pathogens such as HIV, Zika and Ebola,” wrote Tom Frieden, Jeffrey Koplan, David Satcher, and Richard Besser. “Despite the inevitable challenges of evolving science and the public’s expectation of certainty, these are the people best positioned to help our country emerge from this crisis as safely as possible. Unfortunately, their sound science is being challenged with partisan potshots, sowing confusion and mistrust at a time when the American people need leadership, expertise and clarity. These efforts have even fueled a backlash against public health officials across the country: Public servants have been harassed, threatened and forced to resign when we need them most. This is unconscionable and dangerous.”
“Trying to fight this pandemic while subverting scientific expertise is like fighting blindfolded. How well and how quickly we adhere to the advice of public health experts at the CDC will determine whether, how soon and how safely our schools can reopen,” they warned. “It is not too late to give the CDC its proper role in guiding this response. But the clock is ticking.”
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