CDC, White House Aren't In Complete Agreement For Coronavirus Reopening
The advice comprised comprehensive instructive guidance, along with some more prohibitive measures in addition to the plan the White House released last month. The guidance, which was put on hold by the administration officials also provided suggestions to help communities arrive at conclusion in terms of when to shut facilities down again during the subsequent outbreak of COVID-19.
The Associated Press (via NBC News) acquired a 63-page document that divulges more details than previously surfaced segments of the shunned guidance from the CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). It reveals the vast difference in the thinking process of CDC infection control experts and those managing the pandemic response in the White House.
Unveiled on Apr. 17, the White House's "Opening Up America Again" plan adapted some of the CDC's approach but clarified that the responsibility of the reopening decision was solely on the state governors and local officials. The CDC's organizational tool, on the other hand, recommends a coordinated national response to give leaders detailed instructions to help Americans re-enter civic life, without ignoring that there would be a rebound of the virus and a lot of customization will be needed.
Last week, the White House described the document as a draft that wasn't ready to be released. According to some experts, it contained the kinds of elements that the officials need to make well-informed decisions. The executive director of the American Public Health Association Dr. Georges Benjamin accused the White House of not having a comprehensive plan and doing it step by step.
Columbia University expert on the spread of diseases Stephen Morse believes such all-encompassing advice should have been made available much earlier. Several places are gearing up to reopen and are leaving no stone unturned in a bid to develop safe return-to-work procedures.
If more guidance on that would have been made available earlier, Morse said people would have felt safer, adding that it might have also prevented some cases. CDC staffers involved with making the guidance weren't comfortable trying it particularly for reopening and opened up about their disquiet to the officials in the White House who were assigned the task of approving the guidance for release, according to a CDC official who opted to remain anonymous because they weren't allowed to speak with the press.
On Apr. 30, the CDC's guidance was shelved by the Trump administration. The White House asked the CDC to revise parts of its guidance, which were returned for approval.