Home > Uncategorized > NYTimes Reveals What Many Suspected: Political Pressure Was Applied to CDC to Present Positive Data to Support School Reopening

NYTimes Reveals What Many Suspected: Political Pressure Was Applied to CDC to Present Positive Data to Support School Reopening

September 29, 2020

While I have always favored the use of “an abundance of caution” in making decisions about school openings, the POTUS and his politically motivated Coronavirus Task Force wanted schools open at all costs and pushed the formerly apolitical CDC to issue charts that “proved” that schools needed to open. Over the summer, all of these machinations led one principled scientist from the Task Force to resign and blow the whistle on what was going on:

One member of Mr. Pence’s staff said she was repeatedly asked by Marc Short, the vice president’s chief of staff, to get the C.D.C. to produce more reports and charts showing a decline in coronavirus cases among young people.

The staff member, Olivia Troye, one of Mr. Pence’s top aides on the task force, said she regretted being “complicit” in the effort. But she said she tried as much as possible to shield the C.D.C. from the White House pressure, which she saw as driven by the president’s determination to have schools open by the time voters cast ballots.

“You’re impacting people’s lives for whatever political agenda. You’re exchanging votes for lives, and I have a serious problem with that,”said Ms. Troye, who left the White House in August and has begun speaking out publicly against Mr. Trump.

According to Ms. Troye, Mr. Short dispatched other members of the vice president’s staff to circumvent the C.D.C. in search of data he thought might better support the White House’s position.

“I was appalled when I found out that Marc Short was tasking more junior staff in the office of the vice president to develop charts” for White House briefings, she said.

And, as the Times writers Mark Mazzetti,  Noah Weiland, and Sharon LaFraniere report, Mr. Short and other White House operatives did more than develop misleading charts. They found someone in an government agency– the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration– to offer a bona fide and credible report on the impact of remote learning on the mental health of children and played up the findings of THAT report as the basis for advocating the reopening of schools.

The Times article describes the behind the scenes bureaucratic struggle between the CDC and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and concludes with this chilling finding:

On July 23, with hours to go before the new guidance was to be published, the White House staff secretary further stunned C.D.C. officials by emailing the guidance to a long list of top White House officials, asking for any “critical edits” by 1 p.m. The list included Mark Meadows, the chief of staff; Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser; Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council; and Stephen Miller, a White House policy adviser.

By the time it was published, it contained information that C.D.C. officials had objected to earlier in the week,suggesting in particular that the coronavirus was less deadly to children than the seasonal flu.

What the Times article DIDN’T mention is that while all of this pressure to reopen schools based on the impact of mental health was going on, the administration was doing absolutely nothing to provide schools or communities with the funds needed to address the problems the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration flagged as part of their report, the funds needed to test children and staff members so that any kind of reopening would be safe, or the funds needed to keep school employees who were out of work afloat when their unemployment supplements expired.

The administration’s stance of COVID-19 is clear: Children and workers be damned… the DJA needs to go up!

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