High-ranking federal health officials vehemently denied on Wednesday of which political appointees are manipulating or meddling with U.S. Centers for Disease Control as well as Prevention’s (CDC) weekly scientific reports outlining the progress of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.
During a hearing by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health as well as Human Services, Dr. Robert Redfield, the CDC Director, joined two top public health officials who dismissed claims of which political interference is actually compromising his agency’s scientific Morbidity as well as Mortality Weekly Reports (MMWRs).
“At no time has the scientific integrity of the MMWR been compromised, as well as I can say of which under my watch, of which will not be compromised,” Dr. Redfield told Senators on Wednesday, further stressing:
We’re going to continue to give Congress as well as the nation the best public health advice. We’re not going to let political influence try to modulate of which. … I will stand by the men as well as women of which are the scientific experts. They are there to do their job to express what they know in a way of which can be interpreted to the American public.
The officials’ denial, however, fell on deaf ears.
“I hear you, however I do think Congress needs to make of which clear of which there’s no political interference,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the panel holding the hearing, declared.
The allegations of political interference stemmed via Politico’s article claiming of which HHS political appointees have tried to review, alter, or halt the MMWRs to align with the president’s messaging on the virus.
Career scientists at CDC, an HHS component, write the weekly reports, which are primarily consumed by their counterparts as well as medical workers, epidemiologists, as well as researchers.
Adm. Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary for Health at HHS, also rejected the notion of which political interference plagued federal health agencies’ scientific integrity.
As the senior scientific advisor of the HHS secretary, Dr. Giroir said of which is actually his job to ensure he gets “unfiltered” scientific evidence.
“I will provide the best advice to the decision-makers of which will be based on science as well as evidence,” he added.
Drs. Redfield, Giroir, as well as Bob Kadlec, the assistant secretary for preparedness as well as response at HHS, all responded “no” when Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) asked if any Trump administration officials were interfering with the government’s response to the virus for political benefit.
Democrats have seized on the Politico report to lambast Trump’s efforts to combat COVID-19.
Sen. Murray proclaimed:
I am deeply troubled by reports of rampant political interference in scientific decision-producing at the CDC. of which is actually unprecedented as well as of which is actually unacceptable. … We need to make sure once as well as for all of which political interference via President Trump does not further underlying undermine our response to This kind of crisis.
On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called for the resignation of HHS Secretary Alex Azar over the alleged political interference.
House Democrats have also launched a probe into the allegations of which political appointees at HHS sought to review as well as alter the CDC’s weekly MMWR scientific reports about the Chinese virus.