AP featured image
Dr. Robert Redfield Jr., director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is photographed at the agency’s headquarters in Atlanta, Thursday, June 28, 2018. Once known for condemning condoms and clean needles, the new chief of the nation’s top public health agency pledges to use all tool to end AIDS and prevent disease. Redfield spoke of his views and goals for the CDC in a rare interview this week. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

The question that has been puzzling me for some time is that if the CDC was deliberately attempting to sabotage the US response to the Wuhan virus and damage President Trump’s reelection chances, how would they act differently than they have so far? The answer, sadly, is that they would act precisely the way they have performed so far. Quite honestly, I’m not really sure which is worse; the nation’s premier public health agency being so enmeshed in partisan politics that it is willing to kill large numbers of people to win or the CDC being so blindingly incompetent that it killed a crap-ton of people because it can’t find its ass with both hands.

The latest blunder, and possibly the final straw is the discovery that CDC has been lumping positive tests for Wuhan virus and antibodies into one number:

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and several state health departments have been reporting COVID-19 diagnostic tests and antibody tests as one grand tally, rather than keeping their results separate, The Atlantic reported.

Reporting these numbers as a lump sum, rather than two distinct data points, presents several major issues.

Namely, combining the numbers could make America’s diagnostic testing capabilities and testing rates appear higher than they actually are, according to The Atlantic. And as the tests serve profoundly different purposes, “positive” results from either test cannot be interpreted in the same way. Reporting all the positive results together, as one number, could skew our understanding of how many new COVID-19 cases emerge over time — a crucial metric to help control outbreaks as states begin reopening.

When told how the CDC chose to lump the results of both tests together, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute Ashish Jha told The Atlantic, “You’ve got to be kidding me … How could the CDC make that mistake? This is a mess.”

Exactly so. But if you were trying to create a narrative of an out-of-control pandemic, one that was possibly deadly, what better way do that than include the results of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people who have had Wuhan and likely didn’t even know they’d ever been infected into the current count of active cases? Alternatively, you could just be a f***ing idiot.

The White House lost so much confidence in the CDC’s data collection that three days ago is ordered all Wuhan data reporting to be handled by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Hospitals will begin sending coronavirus-related information directly to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), not the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), under new instructions from the Trump administration.

The move will take effect on Wednesday, according to a new guidance and FAQ document for hospitals and clinical labs quietly posted on the HHS website.

Previously, hospitals reported to the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network, which the agency describes as the nation’s most widely used health care-associated infection tracking system.

It was sort of amazing that with that directive, the data on the CDC managed website just…vanished?

Following the Trump administration’s decision to reroute coronavirus hospital data first to the administration, instead of sending it to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some data is no longer available on the CDC.gov website.

The information removed from the website is the hospital data that was reported to the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network, according to CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund.

Now the pressure has intensified. Next week, the House Education and Labor Committee wants to hear from CDC Director Robert Redfield, and the White House has said no, nein, nyet.

The Trump administration is rebuffing House Democrats’ effort to hear testimony from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield on safely reopening schools during the coronavirus pandemic.

House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.) sent Redfield a letter last week asking him or a CDC designee to testify at a hearing on how K-12 public schools can reopen for in-person classroom instruction this fall. But on Friday, Scott said his panel had been informed that the Trump administration would not allow CDC testimony at the hearing planned for next week.

“It is alarming that the Trump administration is preventing the CDC from appearing before the committee at a time when its expertise and guidance is so critical to the health and safety of students, parents, and educators. This lack of transparency does a great disservice to the many communities across the country facing difficult decisions about reopening schools this fall,” Scott said in a statement.

Tracy Beanz at Uncoverdc has an exclusive that is a twofer. It provides a unified field theory for what is happening, and it confirms my own suspicions:

A senior administration official who spoke to UncoverDC expressed serious concern about politicization at the CDC, saying “We have scientists who are working against the release of diagnostics that will help heal the American people, and we in the administration are concerned they will do the same thing with a vaccine. CDC has been doing studies and presenting analysis that is designed to hurt the President. They are laying out junk science, that is designed to discredit the President, and they are putting out reports that are designed to frighten the American people. They are leaking, they are talking to the media, and removing data from the website and doing whatever it takes to interrupt the Presidents coronavirus response.”

When the pandemic began, the CDC was using an antiquated system to track infectious disease. The official we spoke to told this reporter that the CDC was hesitant to upgrade their systems, and when the Trump Administration made the decision to move data collection from the CDC to HHS, the CDC removed all hospitalization data from their website indiscriminately, and not at the direction of HHS or anyone else, as has been insinuated elsewhere. The official told us “CDC had all of the data and didn’t put it up, because they were mad. CDC has been ordered to continue providing the data; as an operating division of HHS, they must comply. Now, everyone is operating from the same database, it real time and complete.”

Addressing the issues with the data collection process from the start, UncoverDC was told “Before COVID struck, there was an outdated system that was monitoring infectious disease. This outdated system was still operating via fax in many cases. When COVID hit, the CDC resisted modernizing their database to provide COVID information that was necessary to save lives. When asked to improve their database they would give timelines in the weeks not in days. In the end, they were just unable to keep up with the pandemic.”

The official added “They were just too slow, and too unconcerned with improving. They were the anchor dragging behind.” When asked whether the serious issues encountered at the CDC are purposeful, the official stated “In many cases this is purposeful. There are people who hate Donald Trump more than they are committed to their duties as doctors and scientists.”

To me, this makes perfect sense. I have worked in the CDC and seen the politicization up close. It is a hotbed of progressive activity. It also has more than its share of idiots. And 90% of the people who work there should be named Karen. They desperately want to manage your life. They want to tell you what to eat, how much to eat, how much exercise, that you can’t own a gun. And they’ve learned, over time, that be declaring something an ‘epidemic’–here, think obesity–they gain a very loud voice.

By controlling the Wuhan virus data collection, they could manipulate the numbers of cases. And by focusing on the number of cases rather than useful metrics, to make it appear that the problem is much more severe than it really is. Why? The aggrandizement of power (are you wearing a face mask? are you keeping six feet from other people?) and as a way to damage a president, they intensely dislike.

I really hope that after the election that President Trump goes full-metal Michael Corleone and cleans up the incompetent and partisan cesspool that CDC has become.

 

streiff
Managing Editor at RedState
Former infantry officer, CGSC grad and Army Operations Center alumnus.
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