Donald Trump’s Administration Attempted To Silence CDC Amid Coronavirus Pandemic, Report Says

Donald Trump listens during a meeting with Hispanic pastors at the Roosevelt Room of the White House January 25, 2019.
Alex Wong / Getty Images

A Friday report from The New York Times outlined emails that suggest Donald Trump’s administration attempted to muzzle the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the coronavirus pandemic.

Notably, Paul Alexander, who recently departed his position as a science adviser at the Department of Health and Human Services, allegedly took aim at CDC veteran Anne Schuchat for her attempt to promote mask-wearing to Americans to curb the spread of COVID-19. According to Alexander, Schuchat’s promotion of public preventive measures was detrimental to the president.

“Her aim is to embarrass the president,” he wrote in a two-page critique of her interview with the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Elsewhere, Alexander called Schuchat — who is the CDC’s principal deputy director — “duplicitous” in an email to his boss, Michael R. Caputo, the top spokesman at the Health and Human Services Department, who went on medical leave this week.

According to The New York Times, Alexander worked with his superior to undermine the CDC.

“Dr. Alexander’s point-by-point assessment, broken into seven parts and forwarded by Mr. Caputo to Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the C.D.C. director, was one of several emails obtained by The New York Times that illustrate how Mr. Caputo and Dr. Alexander attempted to browbeat career officials at the C.D.C. at the height of the pandemic, challenging the science behind their public statements and attempting to silence agency staff.”

The report claimed that the pair regularly worked to hinder CDC bulletins and revise them in order to ensure that they aligned with the Trump administration’s rosy pandemic projections.

After his departure, Alexander told The Globe and Mail that the CDC wrote “pseudoscientific reports” and suggested that the agency scientists were less qualified to interpret coronavirus data than he was.

Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention speaks while U.S. President Donald Trump listens during the daily briefing of the coronavirus task force at the White House.
  Drew Angerer / Getty Images

The Trump administration has publicly clashed with the CDC on many occasions. As reported by CNN, Trump recently slammed CDC director Robert Redfield for his suggestion that mask-wearing might be a more effective measure against the virus than a possible vaccine, which he said would likely be ready by the second or third quarter of 2021. In response, Trump — who has frequently touted the possibility of vaccinations this year — pushed back on Redfield’s comments and called him “confused.”

“I think he made a mistake when he said that. It’s just incorrect information.”

As The Inquisitr reported, Trump also pushed back on the CDC head’s claim that the coming fall could be the worst in American history from a public health perspective.