One of the five items on the CDC’s “Pledge to the American People” is that it will “base all public health decisions on the highest quality scientific data that is derived openly and objectively.” Can anyone honestly say that it has lived up to this promise during the COVID outbreak?
Three recent events should make it abundantly clear that the answer is no.
First, the CDC has been caught hiding vast amounts of scientific data regarding COVID. The New York Times, of all places, reported in late February that “For more than a year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has collected data on hospitalizations for COVID-19 in the United States and broken it down by age, race and vaccination status. But it has not made most of the information public.” Why? Because the data, especially data on the efficacy of vaccines, “might be misinterpreted.”
Dr. Nicole Saphier, a physician at Memorial Sloan Kettering, tweeted in reaction to the news that: “The CDC’s response when questioned about their withholding of COVID data and lack of transparency is essentially ‘we don’t trust you to be able to understand the truth.’ The condescension is palpable.”
She added that “People who have blindly trusted the CDC the last 2 years are about to have their world turned upside down as the lack of transparency and manipulation of data become undeniably evident.”
So much for the CDC’s pledge to be “open and objective.” (This revelation also shows that the CDC has violated another of its pledges: to “treat all persons with dignity, honesty, and respect.”)
How about the CDC’s pledge that it will base all its public health decisions on science? Well, try to square that with the recent revelation that it was working hand-in-glove with a teachers’ union when setting guidelines for school reopenings and mask mandates.
House Republicans released a report last week revealing how senior CDC officials shared a draft guidance document on school opening policies in early 2021 with the gigantic American Federation for Teachers. The account shows the union pushed CDC Director Rochelle Walensky to make changes, including, among other things, adding a “trigger” to close schools automatically if COVID rates hit a certain level.
“The CDC obliged,” the report says, “and thousands of schools across the country remained closed throughout the 2020-2021 school year.”
It further demonstrates how the CDC took language proposed by the AFT and in some cases included it word-for-word in its guideline.
To make matters worse, the Biden administration also tried to keep a muzzle on CDC scientists who were asked questions about this cozy relationship.
This violates every part of that CDC pledge.
As Republican Reps. Steve Scalise and James Comer put it: “The facts are clear: Biden’s CDC overrode routine practice to allow a radical teachers union that donated millions of dollars to Democrat campaigns to bypass scientific norms and rewrite official agency guidance.”
We also recently learned that the CDC can’t even be counted on to handle its own data properly.
A couple of weeks ago it admitted that it had over-counted COVID-related deaths by 72,277 across 26 states – or about 7.5% of all supposed COVID deaths. The CDC had inflated pediatric deaths by 24%. The massive error was attributed to a “coding logic error.” Good luck to anyone looking for more information on how it could screw this up so badly.
We’ve long speculated that the CDC has been inflating COVID death statistics by treating anyone who died with COVID as a death from COVID – even if they died of cancer, or Alzheimer’s, a fall off the roof, or something else unrelated to the disease. But even we didn’t think the CDC was as incompetent as it has now admitted to being.
All this is to say nothing of the fact that the CDC has repeatedly changed its guidelines on masks and vaccines and moved the goalposts when it comes to what it’s trying to achieve. Based on what? Who knows? Anyone remember how we were told in early 2020 that all we had to do was “flatten the curve”?
And with every change, the CDC has conveniently managed to keep itself at the center of our lives – calling a lie on yet another of its pledges: to “place the benefits to society above the benefits to our institution.”
As a result of all this, the CDC has managed to break still another of its pledges: to “be a diligent steward of the funds entrusted to our agency.” That’s four of the five it lists. (The only one we don’t know about is the pledge to treat its own employees ethically. We wouldn’t be surprised if it’s violated that one, too.)
It is long past time for a day of reckoning at the CDC. The public has suffered long enough at the hands of this out-of-control, unaccountable, power-hungry federal bureaucracy.
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— Written by the I&I Editorial Board