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CDC officials curbed by Trump seek new COVID-19 focus with Biden admin


  • Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are optimistic the Biden administration will allow them to rebuild and move forward on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • The CDC was sidelined by the Trump administration over their warnings on the severity of the outbreak.
  • Trump and his close allies instead pushed misinformation about the novel coronavirus for months, and touted unproven medicines as cures.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are looking forward to “rebuilding of the agency” after President-elect Joe Biden takes office, CNN reported. 

The CDC has been sidelined by President Donald Trump’s administration during the COVID-19 pandemic, in part for their warnings about the outbreak in the US and their efforts to highlight the seriousness of the novel coronavirus. 

As part of his blueprint, Biden has said he is working to restore trust in the organization, which had been politicized under Trump. Officials reportedly interfered with the release of some reports in order to align the messaging with Trump’s rhetoric about the virus. 

Nancy Messonnier, the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC, was also sidelined early in the pandemic for warning of the “severe” impact of the virus.

“People like … Nancy Messonnier, I really hope are elevated in the discussion moving forward and empowered to communicate with the public,” Celine Gounder, who sits on Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board, told Politico

Among other measures to rein in the pandemic, Biden’s incoming administration plans to bring back regular media briefings and elevate the voices of scientists and medical experts in public messaging about the virus, something Trump has repeatedly sought to avoid.

After the General Services Administration authorized Biden’s presidential transition, a senior CDC official  told CNN: “This is what we’ve been waiting for is for them to send their landing team here and set up shop.” 

One CDC official told CNN they were excited the transition had finally begun.

“From experience, the faster you get through it the better,” the official said of the transition, according to the cable news outlet.

So far, more than 12.5 million people have been infected with COVID-19 in the US, with more than 259,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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