A recent poll conducted in May of this year revealed some stark truths. Just 52% of Americans queried said they have a great deal of trust in the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), which is sobering news for the agency that we rely on to protect us from viral scourges and pandemics.
There was one silver lining for CDC. They at least did better than the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the NIH (National Institutes of Health), both of which received a 37% vote of confidence. And that number for the NIH could drop even lower after this week. The agency – which includes NAIAD – is run by two gentlemen now on the proverbial hot seat after the Wuhan “lab leak” theory finally gained credibility and broke internationally. The medicine men in question? Doctors Francis Collins and Anthony Fauci.
As elements of the media endeavor to run cover for the pair, over at CDC, there is change in the wind. After being left off the Biden administration’s COVID task force, senior scientist Dr. Nancy Messonier announced she would be leaving the agency to “transition to a new phase of [her] career.” The “departure,” as it’s being characterized, belies tension, according to some, with CDC director Rochelle Walensky.
Then last month, the 33-year veteran and second in command at CDC, Dr. Anne Schuchat, announced she would step down over the summer. Only 61 years old and recently in contention for the job of CDC director with Walensky, her departure came as somewhat of a surprise. By any measure, both Schuchat and Messonier had impressive careers that were ascendant until recently. Why did they leave – or why were they asked to?
Bowing to Teachers’ Union
Conjecture is a fabulist’s game without proof. And with agency efforts to lowercase any palace intrigue or backstory, there is little point in wondering. But these departures come after a year during which the CDC has misstepped on several issues, including masking, PCR testing, lockdowns, and school closures. And two under-reported stories have also blackened the agency’s eye.
The first is that CDC apparently collaborated with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) union to craft guidelines for school openings this year. Rumor was that the CDC, under the leadership of then-director Robert Redfield, was going to recommend the careful reopening of schools nationwide in the Fall of 2020. But there was significant pushback from Randi Weingarten, the President of AFT, who characterized this guidance as unmindful of teacher and student safety. Most schools in the 50 states ended up not reopening last Fall.
This past February, the teacher’s unions appear to have demonstrated outsized influence with CDC again. A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for internal emails revealed that the CDC guidance appeared to incorporate – verbatim in some cases – the recommendations of the teacher’s unions that donate millions to primarily Democratic candidates annually. This prompted Laura Zorc of Building Education for Students Together to opine:
“The CDC bent over backwards to incorporate the demands of the special interests, namely teachers unions. Is this science? If this is the case, why did the CDC not also take input from parents in helping guide their recommendations?”
The second missive that the CDC appeared to slip under the media radar was its statement issued last month that as of May 14, the agency would only count COVID breakthrough cases that result in hospitalization or death. Breakthrough cases are people who are infected and test positive with COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated.
As of April 26, nearly 10,000 breakthrough cases had been reported. CDC’s decision to ignore all cases going forward that don’t result in hospitalization or death might appear to some an effort to manipulate data. But why? One reason might be that it would obscure damaging evidence of a less than efficacious vaccine in order to reflect favorably on our federal institutions and on the Biden administration – which is pushing in concert for vaccination of every American and using billions of dollars of taxpayer money for a PR campaign to realize that goal.
What CDC has decided is akin to not keeping data or records on Americans who get cancer and recover after receiving chemotherapy treatments and radiation. According to the agency charged with our health, unless these cancer patients end up in a hospital setting or die from cancer, it is as if they were never sick at all as no federal records will exist to affirm their illness.
And this week, former CDC director Robert Redfield asserts he got death threats – even from fellow scientists – due to his claims made back in April. In an interview with Sanjay Gupta, he stated he believed in the now increasingly accepted theory of a lab leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology as the most likely origin of COVID-19. Redfield’s need to stay silent and the reaction to his claims are a measure of our federal agencies’ deeply political undergirding and the pressures felt by our senior government officials to support a particular narrative, regardless of personal belief.
Is it any wonder roughly half of America has lost faith in the CDC?