Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield allegedly instructed staff members to delete an email sent by a Trump loyalist interfering with the agency's reports regarding the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Politico reports that Charlotte Kent, an editor of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports, told congressional investigators this week that the deleted email instructed the CDC to "water down" its reports so they would "match President Donald Trump’s efforts to downplay the virus."
The email came from Paul Alexander, who at the time served as scientific adviser to Health and Human Services spokesperson Michael Caputo, and who had been accused of meddling in CDC affairs in an earlier Politico report.
"The agency’s MMWR reports, authored by career scientists, are typically free of political interference, and revelations that Trump officials had sought to alter their findings alarmed public health experts who depend on them," writes Politico. "Democrats later announced a probe into the Trump administration’s interactions with the federal science agencies."
In one email data August 8th, for example, Alexander told CDC officials that he wanted "nothing to go out unless I read and agree with the findings how the CDC wrote it and I tweak it to ensure it is fair and balanced and 'complete.'"