President Donald Trump is growing frustrated with some of the nation's top public health experts, including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield, over their conflicting views on the coronavirus pandemic.
CNN reported that as Trump tries to portray a positive spin on the pandemic, Redfield and other public health officials are delivering messaging that some see is more realistic. That includes updates about the development of a vaccine — Trump has predicted that one will be available before Election Day (Nov. 3), while health officials have said that may not be a realistic goal.
Department of Health and Human Services official Michael Caputo — a Trump supporter who did work for his 2016 campaign — recently said there are people within the CDC trying to undermine Trump and are part of a "deep state" campaign against him.
Redfield addressed the remarks during Senate testimony this week: "I want to add how disappointed I have been personally when people at HHS made comments that they felt that there was a 'deep state' down at CDC.
"These are dedicated men and women that are confronting the greatest public health crisis of our time, working 24/7, over 6,700 of them involved in the outbreak itself, 1,200 deploying, and it's offensive to me when I hear this type of comment."
Redfield has made remarks about the vaccine development in recent weeks, which Trump responded to by saying he was wrong and misinformed. Some say the back and forth is hurting morale within the CDC as experts there work on slowing the pandemic.
"The morale is as low as I've ever seen it and we have no confidence in our leadership," a CDC official told CNN. "People are miserable and it's a shame because this pandemic is still flying away and we still need a robust public health response."
Closer to Trump, CNN reported, two key members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force — Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx — are struggling with how to deal with Trump's coronavirus adviser Dr. Scott Atlas, who sides with the president on how to handle the pandemic.
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