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Agency review finds some Trump administration CDC guidance was not grounded in science or free from undue influence

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The review found that some guidelines “used less direct language than available evidence,” “needed updating to reflect the latest scientific evidence,” and “presented the underlying scientific basis as guidance inconsistently,” according to the spokesman. .

“I am focused on moving forward in CDC with science, transparency and clarity at the forefront. It is imperative that the American people trust CDC. If they do not, preventable diseases and injuries can occur, and tragically, lives can and will be will lose, “Walensky said in a statement to CNN.

“This agency and its critical health information cannot be vulnerable to undue influence, and this report helps outline our path to building trust and ensuring that the information that CDC shares with the American people is it is based on a solid science that will keep us, our loved ones, and our communities safe and sound. “

The Trump administration has repeatedly reiterated its own medical advisors about the nature and subsequent public message of the ongoing pandemic. As soon as February 2020, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, a CDC vaccination expert, warned that the virus could cause serious disruption to American life, affecting schools and businesses, and told people to prepare at the same time. that Trump was reassuring the nation that the virus was “going to go away” and was “very well controlled.”
The effects of the shock were sharp, and those designated by Trump often took control. Michael Caputo – A close ally of Trump who served as top official in the Department of Health and Human Services – was accused by critics of politicizing the CDC and HHS’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. CNN reported in September that Caputo and his team had demanded that weekly scientific reports leave the CDC before they were published, with some HHS communications officials pushing to change the language of the reports so as not to undermine Trump’s political message. In response to this claim, Caputo criticized CDC with conspiracy allegations.
In October, sources told CNN’s Jake Tapper Messonnier was told to “stay low” while Trump downplayed the coronavirus threat. Trump’s White House stopped CDC briefings on the pandemic last March after Messonnier warned of the deterioration of the spread and the interruptions, infuriating the then president.
Walensky wrote to the agency revision of the Trump administration guidelines that he had some difficulty understanding which guidance documents had provided important developments and recommended ways in which the agency under Biden’s administration can do things differently.

While conducting the review, Walensky wrote that he “found it too difficult” to know if a new document represented a major or much minor update to the existing guidelines and to decipher what the basic recommendations of the long documents were.

Some documents were also removed or replaced from the CDC website during the review. The revision names the document that had previously been removed as “The Importance of the Reopening of Schools in America this Fall,” while the document “Overview of SARS-VOC-2 Testing” has been replaced. . According to the review, a link to the “New American Opening” document was also removed from the website.

Walensky noted in the review that “there was no consistent practice of disclosing supporting evidence in a brief scientist along with all the important new guidelines.” But, he added, “we are now committed to providing up-to-date scientific reports if there is research that serves to inform guidance updates.”

Walensky wrote that the CDC “will end production and revisions of the new targeting with remaining priority” in the coming weeks. Walensky outlined several recommendations for moving forward, including making clear what scientific evidence was used for important new guidance documents, as well as planning briefings in the media when new guidelines are published, along with several more recommendations.

This story has been updated with additional additional information.

CNN’s Stephen Collinson, Maggie Fox and Elizabeth Cohen contributed to this report.

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