As the coronoavirus is reported to have infected 92,823 people with 3,164 deaths, Representative Mark Pocan (D-WI) busted the Trump CDC for what appears to be a cover-up after the CDC removed public data on the number of US patients dying from and being tested for the coronavirus.
“Americans are dying… We deserve to know how many people have been tested for, or who have died from, COVID-19,” the Democrat wrote, demanding some answers to the growing pandemic and public health concern in a letter to CDC Director Robert Redfield.
This is unacceptable.
I just sent a letter to @CDCDirector demanding answers to why their website removed public data on the number of patients tested in the United States.
— Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) March 3, 2020
Many patients are unable to get tested, like this Seattle woman detailed on Twitter.
The tests were also messed up. Faulty. Some of the kits “sent to U.S. states and at least 30 countries produced ‘inconclusive’ results due to a flawed component.” And only three states had them.
It also highlights how the CDC’s narrow testing protocols, combined with the agency’s continued delays in getting functional coronavirus test kits to state and local public health agencies, have hindered the public health system’s ability to respond to the outbreak.
The bottom line is: When you don’t test, you don’t prevent.
Pocan is hardly the first to note the life-threatening impact of what seems to be a deliberate Trump administration cover up:
Dr. Matt McCarthy: NY Presbyterian Hospital on Coronavirus:
"We are not testing at full capacity and that is a national scandal."
— Heidi Przybyla (@HeidiNBC) March 2, 2020
Just to list just a few ways (and there are so many) this has gone sideways and could have been avoided: Trump’s political people overruled the recommendations of the CDC, testing kits weren’t made available, there was a deliberate cutting of programs designed to prevent a pandemic around the world as well as cutting of experts and funding for pandemics, and as always, an eye on how this all impacts Trump politically — first and foremost.
Republicans are selling the coronavirus panic as a hoax designed to hurt Trump. The President blames Democrats, as he always does. We are just awaiting Trump finding a way to blame Obama for Trump dismantling Obama-era programs designed to protect the globe from a pandemic.
Trump himself doesn’t even understand the most basic, readily available information on the coronavirus, and had to be told that the regular flu vaccine won’t work on it. This should come as no surprise, however, as Trump still does not actually know what a vaccine is, and on Tuesday he again conflated vaccine with cure.
The problem with covering up reality is we can only manage viruses like this when we have information. Our government should be a source of reliable information, but it is modeling itself more on Putin’s propaganda machine, where even health information is political and put through the flattery machine.
People should not be surprised that the man who couldn’t read Obama’s birth certificate and who imagined he saw people cheering on 9/11 isn’t great at facts or science. This is just another reason why we shouldn’t have conspiracy theorists in positions of power.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.