Members of Donald Trump’s team when he was in the White House blocked health officials from releasing some information on COVID-19 in order to steer in the direction of the former US president’s optimistic vision, according to a parliamentary report released on Monday.
Senior officials at the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), America’s main federal health agency, have told investigators that members of the Trump administration threatened staff and tried to rewrite their reports. President’s downplay of pandemic crisis.
Investigators interviewed current and former CDC officials and senior government officials for the 91-page report released by a congressional committee overseeing the Covid-19 crisis.
In it, the House committee describes how health department officials appointed by Donald Trump tried to seize control of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the CDC’s weekly scientific journal, by editing or censoring articles it deemed damaging to the Republican president.
These officials have tried to “change the content, contradict or delay publication” of 18 weekly reports, as well as health warnings, and have succeeded five times, according to a parliamentary report.
The commission’s investigation “shows that the former administration waged an unprecedented campaign of political interference in the federal government’s response to the pandemic that undermined public health in favor of the former president’s political goals,” the commission’s chairman said. Democrat Jim Clyburn was selected in a press release.
Previous reports have already highlighted efforts by the Trump administration to pressure the US Drug Agency to audit senior health officials or reissue emergency authorization for hydroxychloroquine. Donald Trump promoted this anti-malarial drug as a cure for Covid-19.
Republicans on Monday rejected the report’s findings, calling it partisan, and vowed to conduct their own investigation if they win a majority in either house of Congress in the November election.