The CDC had offered a global advisory against air travel about a week before an alert was issued in mid-March, according to documents obtained by CNN. This delay wasted the United States’ vital time in fighting the pandemic, as 66,000 European travelers entered American airports every day.
CDC officials told CNN that the agency’s plans to fight the coronavirus pandemic had been paralyzed by the White House, which they said was prioritizing science policy.
The delay in global notification is the latest example of a tense relationship between the agency and the White House throughout the pandemic. Six CDC middle and senior staff have expressed dissatisfaction with the media.
“We have been muzzled,” a CDC official told the network. “What is difficult is that if we had acted earlier on what we knew and recommended, we would have saved lives and money. “
The CDC was ready to publish the global opinion on March 5, according to a document obtained by CNN which indicated that it had been authorized internally. But the alert was not made public until March 11, the same day. President TrumpDonald John TrumpPro-Trump: outside groups raise 0.8 million euros in April Biden wins Oregon Graham primary to publish report on pre-election investigation into Russia LEARN MORE announced restrictions on travel from several European countries.
A Trump administration official told CNN that the CDC issued warnings and alerts in early March for specific countries affected by the pandemic.
The official added that the CDC is one of many agencies participating in the White House coronavirus working group, so its contribution was represented at meetings and included in presentations at House press briefings White.
The White House and the CDC did not immediately return requests for comment.
Sources told the network that the tension between the CDC and the White House started with the CDC’s clumsy effort to distribute the tests in early February. The relationship worsened when CDC official Nancy Messonnier told the public that “the disruption to everyday life of the pandemic could be serious.”
Trump responded the next day by announcing that Vice President Pence would lead the coronavirus task force.