The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was slow to react in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, failing to test asymptomatic groups of people that could have revealed much sooner how easily the virus is passed on by silent carriers. A new report from Reuters shows internal and external factors led the CDC to make crucial missteps such as refusing to test the first Americans to return home from Wuhan, which was the epicenter of the pandemic at the time. The CDC also waited to test asymptomatic passengers on the Diamond Princess in February, after hundreds grew sick on the cruise ship.
The agency also had inadequate personal protective gear and in some cases didn’t follow its own established safety guidelines, the report found. “Yes, they were interfered with politically,” Lawrence Gostin, director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University said. “But that’s not the only reason CDC didn’t perform optimally during COVID-19. There are a lot of things that went wrong.”