Washington: The New York Times reported on Thursday that President Donald Trump’s administration issued controversial recommendations on coronavirus testing to the U.S. Department of Health website in opposition to its objections.
The guide said that testing was unnecessary for people who were exposed to Covid-19 but did not show symptoms, but it was criticized when it was released last month.
This is because the health care experts at the time were pushing for more, not less, tests to help track and control the spread of respiratory diseases, which have now caused 200,000 deaths in the United States.
The newspaper said the recommendation was posted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website “despite their serious objections,” citing internal CDC documents and unnamed officials familiar with the issue.
“The Department of Health and Human Services did the rewriting and then ‘dropped’ it into the CDC’s public website, flouting the agency’s strict scientific review process,” the newspaper said.
A federal official told the paper that the document came from the Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS, and from the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
“That policy does not reflect what many people at the CDC feel should be the policy,” the official said.
The Times said healthcare experts at the CDC had “serious objections” to the document, and noted that it contained “elementary errors” as well as recommendations “inconsistent” with the CDC’s advice, making it obvious it came from elsewhere, a senior CDC scientist told the paper under condition of anonymity.
The Times said that when the guidelines were issued, government officials had stated: “This document is a CDC product and has been revised by the director of the agency, Dr. Robert Redfield.”