Tags: Coronavirus | investigation | coronavirus | housecommittee

Dems Open Probe Into Tampering With COVID Reports

james clyburn
Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 14 September 2020 02:06 PM

House Democrats are launching a probe into how Trump appointees have pressured officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to alter or delay scientific reports on the coronavirus, Politico reported on Monday.

"During the pandemic, experts have relied on these reports to determine how the virus spreads and who is at greatest risk," House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis chair Rep. Jim Clyburn and his Democratic colleagues wrote in a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar and CDC director Robert Redfield. "Yet HHS officials apparently viewed these scientific reports as opportunities for political manipulation."

The investigation centers on the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports, which researchers have referred to for the most current and reliable details on the coronavirus.

HHS public affairs chief Michael Caputo and his scientific adviser Paul Alexander pressured CDC officials to alter the reports, even retroactively, so that they would be in agreement with President Donald Trump's more optimistic message about the pandemic, according to Politico.

"The reports must be read by someone outside of CDC like myself, and we cannot allow the reporting to go on as it has been, for it is outrageous," Alexander wrote to Redfield and other officials in an email sent on August 8.

Although CDC officials have resisted the most widespread demands and continued to publish the reports, they have increasingly allowed Caputo and his staff to review draft reports and even changed some of the wording.

Public health experts have slammed the Trump administration's interferring with the reports, noting that the reports have been a bedrock of global public health work for decades, including one that revealed the existence of HIV in 1981.

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Politics
House Democrats are launching a probe into how Trump appointees have pressured officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to alter or delay scientific reports on the coronavirus, Politico reported on Monday. "During the pandemic, experts have relied on these...
investigation, coronavirus, housecommittee
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2020-06-14
Monday, 14 September 2020 02:06 PM
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