Disease Prevention, or …Bowing to the Prez?

<The CDC action smacks of politics, not disease prevention>

The other day the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new directive that reduces testing for COVID-19 that clearly falls in line with the Trump Administration and out of step from responsible medical expertise designed to serve the public health.

In a dramatic shift of federal guidelines, the CDC disclosed that some people without symptoms of COVID-19 may not need to be tested, even though they may have been in close contact with an infected person.

Yesterday, CDC director Robert Redfield, er, tried to clarify what he was saying. “Everyone who needs a COVID-19 test can get a test,” he said. “Everyone who wants a test does not necessarily need a test: the key is to engage the needed public health community in the decision with the appropriate follow-up action.”

Experts say: wait a minute. The CDC had said previously people should be tested in part because of the possibility of asymptomatic transmission from one person to another.

The word is that the CDC, by its action  is reflecting a constant drumbeat of the Trump Administration: there are too many tests, which result in too high COVID-19 numbers.

That flies in the face of what Americans, including those who are asymptomatic with the virus, have repeatedly been told:  get tested to help halt the spread of the virus.

By recommending fewer tests, the CDC is opening the door for many more COVID-19 cases, at a time when there are millions of cases nationwide, with hundreds of thousands of deaths.

There is a constancy of pressure from the Trump Administration over the CDC, sometimes direct, sometimes subtle. Remember the Trump Administration’s pressure campaign

against the CDC about proper precautions over school openings.

The CDC’s mission is to “ “saves lives and protects people from health threats.”

The CDC cannot break from that gold standard mission by bowing to pressure from this administration. It must reverse course now. It must be the agency it was designed to be: help us be healthier and safer. — Joe Cantlupe, Health Data Buzz

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