Trump appointees tried to 'alter or block' at least 13 CDC reports on the COVID-19 crisis: report
Robert R. Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during a White House coronavirus briefing. (Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen)

According to a report at Politico, a watchdog has provided Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), the chair of the House subcommittee investigating the coronavirus pandemic, with evidence that political appointees of Donald Trump attempted to alter or spike reports from the Centers for Disease Control about the health crisis.

In a letter to the administration -- provided to Politico -- that brought to light the revelations, Clyburn demanded top Trump health officials immediately turn over all relevant documents.

According to the report, "Trump appointees attempted to 'alter or block' at least 13 scientific reports on the coronavirus," with Clyburn's committee charging, "Top political officials at [Health and Human Services] and [the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] not only tolerated these efforts, but in some cases aided them."

The House committee launched their investigation into the administration efforts after it was revealed in September that officials were tampering with the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports, which are compiled by researchers and scientists.

"Clyburn's subcommittee on Monday produced dozens of new documents detailing how Trump appointees — including then-science adviser Paul Alexander, the department's top spokesperson Michael Caputo and other health department officials — worked to subvert the CDC's MMWR reports," Politico reported. "Trump appointees further strategized on how to minimize the CDC's findings, including writing their own in-house rebuttals to the agency."

In a related story, Vanity Fair is reporting first daughter and presidential adviser Ivanka Trump also stuck her nose into the CDC's work, saying she made "suggestions" about the report's final form if it contradicted "White House messaging."

According to Kyle McGowan, a former chief of staff at the CDC, "It's demoralizing to spend your entire career preparing for this moment, preparing for a pandemic like this. And then not be able to fully do your job. They need to be allowed to lead…. Damage has been done to the CDC that will take years to undo."

You can read more at Politico here.