White House Told CDC: Come Up With More Evidence to Support School Reopenings
NOT HOW SCIENCE WORKS
The White House put the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under immense pressure to produce more evidence that suited the Trump administration’s agenda to send kids and teachers back to school in person before the election despite the raging coronavirus pandemic, The New York Times reports. One member of Vice President Mike Pence’s staff claims that she was repeatedly asked to instruct the CDC to write more reports that showed a decline in virus cases among young people. The staff member, Olivia Troye, said she regretted being “complicit” in the effort, and left the White House in August. One unnamed former public-health official told the Times that, before a task force briefing in June, White House officials asked the CDC for supportive data in “a snazzy, easy-to-read document.” Recent data shows that hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 have increased at a faster rate in children and teens than among the general public. One coronavirus tracking project has reported at least 30,000 cases in U.S. schools since the school year began.