The inside story of how Trump’s COVID-19 coordinator undermined the world’s high well being company

Stephan Schmitz (Folio Art)

Science‘s COVID-19 reporting is supported by the Pulitzer Center and the Heising-Simons Foundation.

This story was additionally supported by the Science Fund for Investigative Reporting. Please help Science pursue ambitious journalism projects.

On the morning of 13 July, greater than 20 COVID-19 consultants from throughout the U.S. authorities assembled in a convention room on the Department of Health and Human Services, steps from the Capitol. The group conferred on how greatest to assemble key knowledge on out there beds and provides of medication and protecting gear from 1000’s of hospitals. Around the desk, masks hid their expressions, however with COVID-19 instances surging uncontrolled in some elements of the nation, their grave temper was unmistakable, say two individuals who have been within the room.

Irum Zaidi, a high aide to White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Deborah Birx, chaired the assembly. Zaidi lifted her masks barely to be heard and delivered a fait accompli: Birx, who was not current, had pulled the plug on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) system for amassing hospital knowledge and turned a lot of the accountability over to a personal contractor, Pittsburgh-based TeleTracking Technologies Inc., a hospital knowledge administration firm. The purpose: CDC had not met Birx’s demand that hospitals report 100% of their COVID-19 knowledge on daily basis.

According to 2 officers within the assembly, one CDC staffer left and instantly started to sob, saying, “I refuse to do this. I cannot work with people like this. It is so toxic.” That particular person quickly resigned from the pandemic knowledge group, sources say.

Other CDC staffers thought-about the choice arbitrary and harmful. “Anyone who knows the data supply chain in the U.S. knows [getting all the data daily] is impossible” throughout a pandemic, says one high-level knowledgeable at CDC. And they thought-about Birx’s crucial pointless as a result of staffers with many years of expertise may confidently estimate lacking numbers from partial knowledge.

“Why are they not listening to us?” a CDC official on the assembly remembers pondering. Several CDC staffers predicted the brand new knowledge system would fail, with ominous implications. “Birx has been on a monthslong rampage against our data,” one texted to a colleague shortly afterward. “Good f—ing luck getting the hospitals to clean up their data and update daily.”

When Birx, a doctor with a background in HIV/AIDS analysis, was named coordinator of the duty pressure in February, she was extensively praised as a tricky, indefatigable supervisor and a voice of data-driven purpose. But a few of her actions have undermined the effectiveness of the world’s preeminent public well being company, in accordance with a Science investigation. Interviews with 9 present CDC workers, a number of of them senior company leaders, and 20 former company leaders and public well being consultants—in addition to a assessment of greater than 100 official emails, memos, and different paperwork—recommend Birx’s hospital knowledge takeover suits a sample through which she opposed CDC steering, typically selling President Donald Trump’s insurance policies or views in opposition to scientific consensus.

As coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Deborah Birx, proven at a March information convention, has performed a central function within the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic.

Doug Mills/The New York Times/Redux

The company’s lack of management over hospital knowledge is emblematic of its decline in 9 brief months. Since the pandemic started, CDC has foundered (see sidebar, below). It has dedicated unforced errors, corresponding to transport out defective coronavirus exams, and has been squelched or ignored amid continuous political interference.

CDC workers with whom Science spoke—who requested anonymity as a result of they worry retaliation—together with different public well being leaders, say Birx’s actions, abetted by a chaotic White House command construction and weak management from CDC Director Robert Redfield, have contributed to what quantities to an existential disaster for the company. And her disrespect for CDC has despatched morale plummeting, senior officers say. During a May job pressure assembly, The Washington Post reported, Birx mentioned: “There is nothing from the CDC that I can trust.”

CDC scientists and others say Birx’s report echoes her method as head of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) since 2014. Although that program is extensively praised, individuals who labored on it for years say her draconian administration and unrealistic knowledge calls for broken morale and disrupted fieldwork and affected person providers.

Through the workplace of Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the duty pressure, Birx declined to be interviewed or to answer written questions, together with whether or not the White House pressured her to make use of TeleTracking’s system. (TeleTracking’s majority proprietor, actual property developer Michael Zamagias, has donated to Republican candidates and has ties to Trump companies by colleagues, in accordance with an NPR report.)

Redfield additionally declined to be interviewed or to answer written questions. In an announcement, he mentioned: “I will do everything in my power to support [CDC scientists] as I maintain my commitment to lead this agency grounded in data, science, and public service.”

Birx’s admirers, together with Emory University epidemiologist Carlos del Rio, credit score her with typically pushing again in opposition to antiscientific White House insurance policies. And Anthony Fauci, revered head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and fellow job pressure member, has persistently praised Birx as somebody who picks her battles to exert optimistic affect in the long term. He has steered her current journeys to advise state well being leaders have helped scale back COVID-19 instances.

“Birx is in a horribly difficult position,” says Nancy Cox, former director of CDC’s influenza division and now an affiliated retiree of the company. “She wants to stay in the good graces of the president and the rest of the administration while trying to do the right thing with respect to public health. Do I view her as a good scientist who gets things done? Yes.”

But Birx’s lack of background in respiratory illness outbreaks has left her with blind spots, as has her administration model, Cox says. “Do I view her as someone who is willing to railroad people into doing what she has decided is the right thing to do? Yes. Does she listen real well? Not necessarily. One result was the debacle with the hospital data.”

The interviews and paperwork obtained by Science present Birx changed a useful, if imperfect, CDC knowledge system—effectively understood by hospitals and state well being departments—with an error-ridden and unreliable filter on hospital wants that typically shows nonsensical knowledge, corresponding to damaging numbers of beds. Such issues may hamper efficient distribution of federal assets throughout an anticipated fall and winter spike in COVID-19 and flu instances, CDC officers say.

“This is the surreal part of it: They are attempting to replicate something we built over 15 years. And they are failing,” says a high-level CDC official with private data of the system. “Either Birx isn’t looking at the data, or she’s looking away—because it’s an absolute disaster.”

Mixed report

When Trump put in Birx to coordinate the duty pressure on 27 February, she was extensively thought to be a powerful alternative, even by the president’s critics. Public well being scientists hoped her “data driven” self-discipline, political adroitness, long-standing ties to Redfield, and army bearing—she spent 28 years within the Army—may insulate the pandemic response and CDC in opposition to a few of Trump’s damaging impulses. Her new function gave her the power to exert substantial authority over CDC (see organizational chart, below).

At that time, the company was already struggling. Among different errors, CDC had botched the rollout of its preliminary COVID-19 exams in early February. And the Trump administration had attacked or muzzled company leaders for talking primary truths and repeatedly pressured CDC to melt its scientific recommendation.

Birx appeared to have the expertise to bolster the company. She had labored as a fellow in mobile immunology underneath Fauci and later grew to become lab deputy to Redfield on the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), the place he directed AIDS vaccine analysis. The pair co-authored quite a few scientific papers in the course of the late 1980s and early ’90s. When Redfield was investigated for attainable misconduct after presenting overly rosy knowledge on a “vaccine therapy” method to AIDS remedy at a 1992 Amsterdam convention, Birx defended him to Army investigators. (The investigation discovered errors however cleared Redfield of misconduct fees.)

Power within the pandemic

A “working organization chart” obtained by Science exhibits Deborah Birx’s central roles within the federal COVID-19 response. She coordinates the White House Coronavirus Task Force (WHCTF) and co-chairs two of its three divisions: the unified coordination group, which manages the response from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defense (DOD); and Operation Warp Speed, which develops vaccines in cooperation with a number of companies. Domestic manufacturing coordinates manufacturing of private protecting gear and different wants. The doctor advisory group has solely an advisory function. Listed people co-chair the teams. (This chart was issued on 31 July.)

Unified coordination group Deborah Birx Coordinator, WHCTF Alex Azar Secretary, HHSPete Gaynor Administrator, FEMA* Physician advisory group Jerome Adams Surgeon normal Anthony Fauci Director, NIAIDFrancis Collins Director, NIHBrett Giroir Assistant secretary for well being, HHSStephen Hahn Commissioner, FDARobert Redfield Director, CDC Domestic manufacturing Adam Boehler CEO, USIDFC*Peter Navarro Assistant to the president Operation Warp Speed Deborah BirxAlex AzarMark Esper Secretary, DODAdam BoehlerJared Kushner Senior adviser to the president White House *Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. International Development Finance Corp. (USIDFC)

(GRAPHIC) V. Altounian/Science

Soon after, Redfield retired from the army to co-found the Institute of Human Virology on the University of Maryland. Birx assumed his job at WRAIR, then rose to direct the U.S. Military HIV Research Program. She subsequent moved to CDC, directing its international AIDS challenge for 9 years. In 2014, then-President Barack Obama appointed her as international AIDS ambassador and head of the Department of State’s PEPFAR. That challenge has been seen by many individuals as an exemplary overseas help program. It is credited with saving hundreds of thousands of lives within the growing world since its founding in 2003 and sharply decreasing HIV an infection charges amongst women and younger ladies, amongst different achievements.

Birx got down to strengthen PEPFAR knowledge methods and transfer funds to the place they may save essentially the most lives, these conversant in this system say. “PEPFAR had a mandate of doing more with the same budget,” says del Rio, who chairs PEPFAR’s Scientific Advisory Board. Birx succeeded by “squeezing out inefficiencies, and being very data driven,” and by chopping drug prices, he says.

Sten Vermund, dean of the Yale School of Public Health, led PEPFAR packages in Africa underneath Birx and her predecessor, Eric Goosby. Vermund praises Birx’s “industry and science” and notes that his Mozambique program acquired extra funding underneath her management. Birx additionally deftly shepherded PEPFAR into the Trump period with no finances cuts, and her plan to refocus PEPFAR made sense, says Amanda Glassman, govt vice chairman of the Center for Global Development, a Washington, D.C.– and London-based analysis group.

But Glassman and Vermund additionally agree that Birx made fixed, burdensome, pressing calls for for knowledge on HIV/AIDS instances, remedies, and different elements. Vermund says these calls for typically disrupted providers for sufferers. He describes a few of Birx’s knowledge calls for as “almost whimsical” and their functions opaque, calling her management model “authoritarian.”

That description is backed by a blistering audit of PEPFAR’s work in 4 African nations, issued in February by the Department of State’s inspector normal (IG). Most of the PEPFAR workers auditors interviewed in 2019 mentioned their enter was ignored and that program heads, led by Birx, set unachievable benchmarks.

One PEPFAR staffer advised auditors {that a} goal for the variety of folks on antiretroviral remedy in a single nation “was actually greater than the number of people living with HIV.” Some workers described PEPFAR administration as “autocratic” or “dictatorial.” One mentioned high-level technical workers adopted an method of “just obey and move on. … Working in fear and a space where nothing is negotiable.”

Programs that missed knowledge quotas may have their funding reduce off, a state of affairs a 3rd staffer described as “a recipe for cooking data.” The knowledge targets “put a lot of pressure on the [local] partners,” a fourth staffer advised the IG investigators. “Sometimes, you are not even sure that the numbers are true. Especially when you go to the field and look at the [patient] registers. You cannot verify that they are real patients.” A CDC PEPFAR supervisor advised Science that “Countries need the money,” so program workers manipulated efficiency knowledge.

Vermund says his program by no means falsified knowledge, however “we knew for a fact that others did not necessarily tell the truth, … [using] exaggerations to make themselves look better.” He says some packages double-counted sufferers who entered remedy, dropped out, after which returned. “Perverse incentives were created based on the data-driven outcomes.” Despite the stress, the audit confirmed, Birx’s knowledge targets have been usually missed.

Amid the fixed distraction of information calls for, providers to sufferers typically suffered, one staffer advised the IG. That drawback occurred in lots of PEPFAR nations, the CDC supervisor says.

In response to the IG report, Birx promised some reforms and “clearer, transparent dialogue.” She mentioned native PEPFAR groups would set their very own targets, though funding could be “adjusted to the presented level of ambition.” Before these actions have been totally in place, Trump appointed her to coordinate the Coronavirus Task Force.

Del Rio isn’t stunned that some PEPFAR workers members have been sad. “She’s a no-bullshit kind of person,” he says. “She’s not running a Montessori school.”

And Glassman notes that many ladies who attain highly effective jobs face further criticism or get tagged as authoritarian, whereas males with comparable management types are merely accepted. “Is [Birx] getting pounded partially because she’s a woman?” she asks.

But Glassman concedes that regardless of good intentions, Birx’s model was “a disaster” at PEPFAR. And tying knowledge targets to funding with out unbiased verification does invite misreporting, she says. “Her desire to get those results and show them to the world, I think, just overcame everything,” Glassman says.

Now, some CDC staffers say, Birx is making use of the PEPFAR playbook to the brand new pandemic, and the dismantling of CDC’s COVID-19 hospital knowledge system is a consequence.

Hospital knowledge debacle

Agency insiders concede that CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN)—the system used for 15 years to assemble essential knowledge from hospitals—was removed from good. The community, which collects knowledge from about 37,000 hospitals and different well being care amenities, has been underfunded for years. All the identical, 5 occasions weekly, NHSN reliably produced actionable COVID-19 knowledge corresponding to out there hospital beds, intensive care occupancy, and ventilators used, in accordance with CDC sources and inside reviews obtained by Science. CDC staffers used long-tested statistical algorithms to impute lacking knowledge.

When NHSN was shut down for hospital COVID-19 knowledge in July, greater than 100 public well being and affected person advocacy teams, together with scientific and medical societies (together with AAAS, which publishes Science), warned that the change may degrade essential knowledge reporting. Attorneys normal for 21 states and the District of Columbia echoed their considerations. (The system nonetheless collects COVID-19 knowledge from nursing houses and on points corresponding to on well being care–related infections and resistance to antimicrobial therapies corresponding to remdesivir, which has helped some severely ailing COVID-19 sufferers and was given to Trump.)

But del Rio says Birx seen NHSN in an identical gentle as the info system she inherited at PEPFAR in 2014—woefully insufficient. Birx was exasperated, del Rio mentioned, that NHSN couldn’t present each day, complete knowledge, for instance on provides of remdesivir, to information the federal government’s efforts.

Either Birx isn’t wanting on the knowledge, or she’s wanting away—as a result of it’s an absolute catastrophe.

High-level CDC official

In a spring assembly, Birx appeared fixated on making use of the teachings of HIV/AIDS in a small African nation to COVID-19 within the United States, says a CDC official who was current. “Birx was able to get data from every hospital on every case” in Malawi, the official says. “She couldn’t understand why that wasn’t happening in the United States” with COVID-19. Birx didn’t appear to see the distinction between a slow-moving HIV outbreak and a raging respiratory pandemic. “[CDC Principal Deputy Director] Anne Schuchat had to say, ‘Debbi, this is not HIV.’ Birx got unhappy with that.”

Birx insisted each hospital replace 100% of its knowledge on daily basis, together with detailed affected person demographics. She added new knowledge classes, corresponding to affected person age and provides of remdesivir. CDC officers advised her 100% each day compliance was just about inconceivable, however mentioned NHSN statisticians may precisely extrapolate from partial knowledge, offering outcomes “in near real time,” one company official says.

Another CDC official charged with responding to Birx’s calls for calls her “fixation and fetishization of those daily count numbers” deeply irritating. Birx’s high assistants accused CDC workers who pushed again of being callous about COVID-19 deaths. The course of assumed the tone of a army command construction, the CDC official says: Obey with out query. Echoing PEPFAR workers, the official provides that it appeared “designed to make you feel like you are failing every day.”

Birx “doesn’t really understand data,” says James Curran, public well being dean at Emory University, who led CDC’s HIV/AIDS unit for 15 years earlier than Birx’s time on the company. “I don’t think she’s asking the right questions. It doesn’t mean that the CDC is always right. But you should have a partnership with people.”

Instead, say CDC sources with direct data of the occasions, Birx’s group made a “take it or leave it” demand: Immediately acquire case knowledge by age, or NHSN would get replaced.

When the change to TeleTracking was introduced, Redfield applauded it as a solution to “streamline reporting.” He additionally tweeted that the choice was made at “working levels” in CDC and didn’t rise to his stage. Many folks in CDC noticed his feedback as a betrayal.

TeleTracking’s efficiency

Birx’s crucial of 100% of hospital knowledge on daily basis has proved elusive. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) knowledge hub for hospital capability, together with inpatient beds occupied general and by COVID-19 sufferers, now attracts on knowledge collected by TeleTracking, a for-profit firm with practically 400 workers, and on knowledge submitted by state well being departments and hospital associations. As with NHSN, practically all knowledge are collected manually slightly than mechanically from digital affected person information. Some hospital associations and well being departments mix knowledge from hospitals into spreadsheets and ship them by fax or electronic mail to HHS. TeleTracking additionally affords an internet interface for hospitals or their contractors to enter knowledge.

The underlying knowledge tables are up to date each day however run Three to 4 days behind—much less environment friendly than NHSN earlier than it ceased working. CDC officers and public well being consultants blame a number of elements for these issues: Hospitals aren’t used to TeleTracking’s system and the extra knowledge factors (corresponding to age) added work. Also, TeleTracking has long-standing relationships with fewer hospitals than NHSN; such relationships can velocity troubleshooting.

In a 7 October written reply to questions, an HHS spokesperson acknowledged the time lag however known as it “a good practice to provide the most complete dataset” as a result of hospitals won’t be capable of reply on weekends, for instance. But the division plans to scale back that lag, the spokesperson wrote.

At a 6 October press briefing, Birx mentioned 98% of hospitals have been reporting no less than weekly and 86% each day. In its reply to Science, HHS pegged the each day quantity at 95%. To obtain that, the bar for “compliance” was set very low, as a single knowledge merchandise in the course of the prior week. A 23 September CDC report, obtained by Science, exhibits that as of that date solely about 24% of hospitals reported all requested knowledge, together with protecting gear provides in hand. In 5 states or territories, not a single hospital offered full knowledge.

HHS mentioned the 23 September evaluation was “filled with inaccuracies, misunderstandings, and errors,” with out offering particulars, and questioned its authenticity.

CDC’s director, Robert Redfield, proven at its headquarters in Atlanta, has been criticized for failing to robustly defend the company in opposition to accusations of political interference.

Stephen Voss/Redux

But Science additionally obtained a report ready by CDC knowledge consultants to be used by the company and Birx’s group dated 19 May, again when TeleTracking and NHSN have been each supplied as choices for knowledge submission. NHSN confirmed 3% to six% lacking knowledge for such objects as COVID-19 inpatient mattress occupancy and ventilator use. TeleTracking confirmed 36% to 57% lacking knowledge. Those numbers have been largely unchanged, with vital enchancment in just one class, within the 23 September replace, after NHSN was now not used for hospital reporting.

Like NHSN, the TeleTracking system estimates lacking knowledge, however the firm and HHS declined to launch any particulars for unbiased evaluation. CDC staffers say TeleTracking has different issues; for instance, many hospitals share ID numbers in its system, making it tough to distinguish between every one’s wants. CDC critiques obtained by Science additionally present TeleTracking has persistently reported nonsensical numbers. For instance, the system confirmed damaging numbers of occupied hospital beds and greater than 15,000 beds for a single California hospital. In practically 1500 instances, it confirmed extra beds crammed than whole beds at a hospital.

TeleTracking referred inquiries to HHS, which mentioned it plans to spice up automation to scale back errors. For now, the HHS spokesperson wrote: “HHS made a conscious decision to take a different approach on data collection. … Rather than reject incorrect data outright, HHS allows it to flow into our system” after which makes an attempt to manually repair detected errors. A CDC knowledge knowledgeable calls that “an admission of faulty data practices.”

In a 25 September memo from Birx to HHS Secretary Alex Azar, obtained by Science, Birx made a significant concession to actuality: She gave up on components of the each day 100% compliance rule that had motivated the change to TeleTracking. For instance, Birx as a substitute requested that inventories of provides, corresponding to private protecting gear, be offered weekly as a result of extra frequent reporting had proved infeasible.

During the 6 October press briefing, Birx mentioned the strikes “ensure that we are not adding additional burden” for hospitals. The key’s “valid and timely data,” she mentioned.

But in that very same briefing, Birx and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma introduced a brand new and stringent requirement harking back to PEPFAR: Funding shall be tied to reporting compliance. Hospitals shall be disqualified from Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements in the event that they fail to submit required knowledge after being warned of lapses. The memo from Birx to Azar, marked “not releasable to the public,” exhibits Birx pushed for the change.

The transfer is “sledgehammer enforcement” that would needlessly divert money and time from affected person care, Federation of American Hospitals President and CEO Charles “Chip” Kahn mentioned in an announcement after the announcement.

As at PEPFAR, CDC officers say this requirement may create “perverse incentives” to provide false knowledge. Medicare funding is a survival problem for hospitals, so many are prone to submit the requested numbers no matter whether or not they’re correct, say three high-level CDC officers with private data of company knowledge methods.

HHS cited safeguards in opposition to such fraud, together with help from state well being departments, and “systematic logic and error checking.” The division’s IG additionally identifies fraud aggressively, the spokesperson mentioned.

However, the potential long-term impression retains CDC staffers up at evening, one says. “I worry, is this going to damage the whole process of how public health data are collected down the road?”

Lines of energy

CDC officers say Birx acquired her outsize affect over the company partly due to how energy was allotted within the federal pandemic response. An organizational chart obtained by Science, marked “for official use only,” exhibits Birx coordinates the duty pressure and co-chairs two key our bodies: the unified coordination group, which manages the response from HHS and due to this fact CDC; and Operation Warp Speed, the vaccine improvement effort. A doctor advisory group, comprising Fauci, Redfield, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, and others—is off to the aspect (see organizational chart, above). Senior CDC folks say these advisers have been lowered to “window dressing,” with little capacity to mediate within the deteriorating relationship between Birx and CDC.

She calls into query the science of the company.

Current senior CDC official

The hospital knowledge system is maybe essentially the most calamitous flashpoint in that relationship. But CDC officers say that, in different situations, Birx flouted science and undermined the company to placate the president. For instance, she responded with silence to Trump’s suggestion that ingesting disinfectants may remedy COVID-19. And in accordance with the nonpartisan, in March she understated the pandemic’s unfold by “misleadingly” portraying states with few instances as “almost 40% of the country,” though these states make up solely about 7% of the inhabitants.

“Dr. Birx, what the hell are you doing? What happened to you? Your HIV colleagues are ashamed,” tweeted Yale epidemiologist and AIDS knowledgeable Gregg Gonsalves in response.

And she pressured CDC to tone down its steering on faculty openings, in accordance with The New York Times; it published an electronic mail she wrote asking Redfield to take a extra permissive method.

Several CDC leaders say Birx’s mistrust and rejection of enter from CDC knowledge consultants has created huge animosity. “She calls into question the science of the agency,” says a present senior CDC official. “We’re not perfect … but in the midst of a crisis, to indicate that one of your chief arms for responding to a very severe pandemic can’t be believed” has been disastrous.

Birx’s supporters say she has achieved in addition to anybody can working for Trump. “She can navigate science and politics,” del Rio says. “I don’t think anybody can navigate science and Trump.” And Birx has resisted among the president’s outrageous claims, even persuading Pence to typically put on a masks. In August, she described the pandemic to CNN as “extraordinarily widespread,” shedding some favor with Trump.

Even critics inside CDC give Birx certified credit score. Her constant push for testing has “gotten crosswise with the White House,” says a high CDC official, who provides: “At her core, she’s a scientist.”

But that official and others additionally see Birx as a cautionary story of how an ostensibly well-meaning knowledgeable could cause nice hurt by working within the model of the Trump administration. “Bullying and threatening is a last resort for our usual way of operating, whereas that’s the modus operandi for this administration and the White House task force,” the official says. “‘We need people who think like we do.’ I’ve heard that stated in multiple instances” by Birx’s high assistants, the official provides. “It’s not scientific.”

Many executives and midcareer professionals who characterize the way forward for the company plan to depart if Trump wins reelection, a number of sources say. It’s one more reason that has public well being authorities questioning whether or not CDC has already handed a tipping level, from which it can battle to recuperate irrespective of who’s elected.

The implications of a discredited CDC for the COVID-19 pandemic are grave, says Thomas Frieden, who led the company underneath Obama. If the general public doesn’t belief authorities steering to take vaccines when out there, he says, the pandemic may rage indefinitely. “Breaking that trust could cost our economy—and American lives.”

Senior profession executives at one other beleaguered company, the Food and Drug Administration, just lately known as for preservation of their scientific independence in a USA Today editorial. At CDC, leaders under Redfield are speaking privately about whether or not to take an identical public stand in opposition to the destruction of their company by the Trump administration. One says: “The longer we don’t speak out, the harder it will be to regain our credibility.”


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